Although they weren’t projected to be the aces of their respective staffs at the start of the season, Wei-Yin Chen and Nathan Eovaldi are pitching that well of late.
While Chen seeks his sixth straight quality start for the Baltimore Orioles, Eovaldi will try to extend his career-best winning streak for the New York Yankees on Tuesday night when the AL East’s top teams meet in the Bronx.
Opening day starter Chris Tillman has won five straight decisions after a six-game losing streak, but Chen (4-5, 2.78 ERA) leads Baltimore’s rotation in both ERA and quality starts with 12.
The left-hander, who turns 30 on Tuesday, has allowed two runs or less in his last seven outings and has a 1.95 ERA during a string of five straight quality starts. He gave up two earned runs over eight innings in a 3-2 home loss to Washington in his most recent outing July 12.
"Wei-Yin’s been solid for us," manager Buck Showalter told MLB’s official website. "After having him for a while, we’ve got a pretty good idea what works for him and what doesn’t."
After entering 2015 with a 2-4 record and a 5.44 ERA in nine career meetings with the Yankees, Chen is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against them this year. He yielded just one run while fanning seven over seven innings in a 6-2 win at Yankee Stadium on May 9.
New York (50-41), which leads Baltimore (46-45) by four games in the division, has won nine of 13 this month following Sunday’s 2-1 home win over Seattle. The club took three of four from the Orioles the last time they met at Yankee Stadium in May.
Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50) pitched the opener of that series, allowing three runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-3 win. He also gave up two runs over five innings at Camden Yards on April 15, but did not factor into the decision in New York’s 7-5 loss.
The right-hander now looks to take the team lead with his 10 victory after yielding three runs over five innings in an 8-6 win at Boston on July 12. He has posted a 2.93 ERA while winning his last four decisions.
Eovaldi might have to be careful with Caleb Joseph, who is 4 for 5 with a home run and a double in the matchup. Jimmy Paredes has two walks and a homer off Eovaldi this season.
Joseph is also 15 for 28 (.536) with two home runs in the season series, while Paredes is 11 for 24 (.458) with two homers and Manny Machado is 15 for 39 (.385) with a pair.
Adam Jones went 3 for 5 with his 15th home run and Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run shot in Sunday’s 9-3 win at Detroit. Jones is 9 for 18 and has gone deep three times over his last four games.
New York first baseman Mark Teixeira’s only hit in five at-bats against Chen was a home run, while Carlos Beltran has gone 0 for 6. Beltran had an RBI single Sunday after missing 12 games with a strained oblique.
Teixeira went 3 for 4 with his 23rd home run – a go-ahead solo shot in the eighth inning. He went 5 for 11 when the Yankees dropped two of three at Baltimore in mid-June.
"Individual success means a whole lot more when your team is playing well," he said.