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Chen, Gonzalez to face Yanks in Games 2, 3

Chen, Gonzalez to face Yanks in Games 2, 3

Chen, Gonzalez to face Yanks in Games 2, 3
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will tab rookie starters Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez to start in Games 2 and 3, respectively, in the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.

Chen, who last pitched Monday in St. Petersburg against the Rays, has a 4.39 ERA in 16 starts on regular rest, an ERA that drops to 2.28 when he gets six or more days of rest. The 26-year-old lefty, signed out of Japan this winter, is 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against the Yankees and will face them for Monday's home game, which is slated to start at 8:07 p.m. ET on TBS.

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A pleasant surprise for the starting staff, Chen helped anchor an uncertain rotation with starter Jason Hammel sidelined by a right knee injury. Still, Chen has struggled down the stretch, posting a 5.05 ERA in six September/October starts, the worst ERA in an otherwise impressive rookie campaign.

Given that Chen is used to pitching on five days' rest in Japan, the Orioles tried to push him back whenever possible this season in hopes of keeping him fresh and easing the transition to the Major Leagues.

The club has also taken great care in preserving Gonzalez, who was signed out of the Mexican Winter Leagues and started the season as a reliever. A 28-year-old who had just one career start above Double-A, Gonzalez has been one of the best stories this season and the Orioles have closely monitored his innings down the stretch. Gonzalez has pitched to a 4.55 ERA in nine starts on regular rest, a mark that drops to 2.52 when getting six or more days rest.

The right-handed Gonzalez last pitched Tuesday against the Rays, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings at Tropicana Field. He has excelled on the road in particular, and is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in two career starts at Yankee Stadium. The start time for Wednesday's Game 3 in the Bronx has yet to be announced.

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