Orioles 2, Braves 0

Adam Jones had a one-word description of the Orioles’ second

straight shutout win:

”Chen-sational.”

Wei-Yin Chen combined with four relievers on a seven-hitter and

Baltimore continued its success in interleague play by beating the

Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Sunday.

The Braves, who have lost six of seven, were shut out in

back-to-back games for the first time since June 5-6, 2009. Jason

Hammel threw a one-hitter in a 5-0 victory for the Orioles on

Saturday night.

Jones said Hammel and Chen dominated by staying ahead in the

count.

”It’s been pretty fun to watch from center field,” Jones said.

”The important part of it is they always started with strike one.

They’ve been able to do what they want because they’ve been ahead

in counts.”

The Orioles, who remained 1 1/2 games behind the first-place New

York Yankees in the AL East, have won seven of eight. They are 9-3

in interleague play with series wins over Washington, Philadelphia,

Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

Chen (7-2) gave up six hits and one walk in seven innings to

outpitch Randall Delgado (4-7), who allowed only two runs and three

hits in eight innings.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter applauded Chen’s ability to

successfully bunt and field bunts – no small feat for an American

League pitcher from Taiwan.

Chen’s sacrifice helped the Orioles score a run in the

sixth.

”It’s something you work on in spring training and it could be

a difference-maker in the game, and I think it was today,”

Showalter said.

Chen fielded a poor bunt by Delgado in the third to start a

double play that helped spoil a scoring opportunity for

Atlanta.

”I’m sure they were rolling their eyes in spring training as we

were going over and over bunt defense, being an American League

East team,” Showalter said. ”It was nice that it helped us and

made a difference.”

Still, Chen is no fan of interleague play.

”Not really, because I hate hitting,” he said through a

translator.

Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save. Darren

O’Day, Troy Patton and Pedro Strop combined for a scoreless

eighth.

Delgado’s eight innings matched his longest start. He walked one

batter and struck out six.

Jones led off the second with a ground-rule double to right

field. After moving to third on Wilson Betemit’s fly ball, Jones

scored on Mark Reynolds’ sacrifice fly.

”They did a good job of executing small ball,” Braves catcher

David Ross said. ”They played the game the way it’s supposed to be

played.”

A misplay by Matt Diaz helped Baltimore stretch the lead in the

sixth. Diaz ran in before stopping too late and watching a line

drive by Steve Pearce sail over his head for a double to the

left-field wall. Pearce advanced on the sacrifice by Chen and

scored when Delgado balked with Robert Andino at the plate.

Delgado balked as he tried to move from the stretch to a full

windup.

”You just have to do that step-off, but I didn’t,” he

said.

The Braves lost two of three to the Orioles after being swept in

three games by the Yankees.

One day after being shut out by Hammel, the Braves sputtered

again as they hit into double plays in each of the first three

innings.

”We played well, same as we did in the Yankees series, but

we’ve got nothing to show for it,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

”We outhit them (7-4) again today and got nothing to show for

it.”

Showalter said the Orioles ”got some breaks here” by facing

the Braves when first baseman Freddie Freeman missed the series

with a sore finger.

”The only thing we need to avoid is pressing,” said Braves

third baseman Chipper Jones, who was 0 for 3 with a walk.

”You’d still like to think you can go out there and score three

runs no matter who’s in the ballgame.”

Ross and Andrelton Simmons led off the third with singles before

Delgado bounced a bunt too hard toward Chen, who threw to third to

start a double play. Simmons advanced to third on a throwing error

by Andino at second base, but Michael Bourn ended the inning on a

groundout.

The third was the only inning in which the Braves managed more

than one hit.

Showalter said he was impressed by the play of Simmons, the

rookie shortstop who in the third inning made a tough grab of a

sharply hit grounder by Jones and bounced up to make a strong throw

to first to end the inning.

Atlanta’s Eric O’Flaherty, who had been out with a sore left

elbow, got one out in the ninth in his first appearance since June

8.

NOTES: The Braves placed RHP Brandon Beachy on the 15-day

disabled list and recalled RHP Todd Redmond from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Beachy will have an MRI on Monday. … Freeman said the swollen

knuckle on his left index finger has improved ”a lot” after he

received two cortisone shots Saturday. He missed his fourth

straight start. … Andino started in place of 2B Brian Roberts,

who was given a day off. Showalter said it was ”prudent” to be

careful with Roberts, who returned Tuesday from the 60-day DL

(concussion). … The Brewers shut out the Braves in two straight

games in Atlanta from June 5-6, 2009. … Delgado also lasted eight

innings on May 3, giving up two runs in a loss to Philadelphia. …

The Orioles open a three-game series at the Mets on Monday night,

with RHP Jake Arrieta facing R.A. Dickey. The Braves also head to

New York to face the Yankees, who swept three games in Atlanta last

week. Mike Minor will face CC Sabathia.