Chen pitched five scoreless innings and Luis Matos drove in the
winning run with a triple in the ninth inning as the Orioles beat
the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Friday night at the SBC Bricktown
Matos drove in pinch-runner David Newhan with a triple to the
gap in right-center off of St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen,
then scored when Mark Grudzielanek's relay throw hit him in the
back as he slid into third base.
Chen, who was competing with Rick Bauer for the fifth spot in
Baltimore's rotation, gave up only a single and a walk. He allowed
only five hits in 14 2-3 scoreless innings this spring.
"He learned how to pitch," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli
said. "The sequence was good, and he had good selection on how he
pitched his guys. He has an idea of exactly what he wants to do.
That's why he's my fifth starter."
It was Chen's first start of the spring after five relief
appearances, but the 27-year-old left-hander said he felt he was
ready to start every five days.
"I feel like my arm is strong enough and I feel like I'm going
to be able to start," Chen said. "Whatever they want me to do,
I'm going to help this team."
Chen finished last season in the Orioles' rotation after an
August call-up from Triple-A Ottawa and went 2-1 with a 3.02 ERA in
seven starts and one relief appearance. The Orioles are his seventh
team in the past five seasons.
"It's always nice to be with one team and stick around," Chen
said. "This is a very good opportunity here. I'm feeling good and
Mazzilli said he told Chen he'd won the spot before the game.
Bauer gave up five runs in four innings in Baltimore's 5-1 loss to
St. Louis on Thursday.
"I was extremely happy," Chen said. "I prepared myself real
well in the offseason so I could help this team win, and this is
incredible for me."
The Orioles gave Chen the lead when Sammy Sosa led off the
second inning with a single and came around to score on Jay
Gibbons' double to the gap in left-center.
St. Louis capitalized on a lack of control by reliever Steve
Kline -- who pitched for the Cardinals last season -- to tie it in
the sixth. Kline beaned Larry Walker, who then advanced to second
on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single by Scott Rolen.
Jason Marquis pitched six solid innings in his final outing
before starting the second game of the Cardinals' season-opening
series against Houston. Marquis gave up one run on four hits in six
innings. He struck out seven -- his most of the spring -- and walked
Brian Roberts, who missed Thursday's game with a bruised
right shin, returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 with a double
and two walks. He was hurt Wednesday when he fouled a ball off his
leg. ... Attendance was 13,066 -- a sellout at SBC Bricktown
Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma RedHawks, the Texas Rangers'
Triple-A affiliate. ... The Cardinals finish spring training with
games Saturday and Sunday against their new Double-A affiliate in
Springfield, Mo. Baltimore is off Saturday before concluding its
spring at Philadelphia on Sunday.