BALTIMORE — Steve Pearce homered and scored twice to help Wei-Yin Chen earn his ninth victory, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Thursday night for their eighth win in 10 games.
Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz both drove in a run for the Orioles, who built a 4-0 lead in the third inning and held on. Baltimore took two of three from the Nationals in this rain-shortened, home-and-home interleague showdown between division leaders.
Chen (9-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking none and striking out six. The Taiwanese left-hander is 6-1 in 12 starts since May 3, and his nine wins are most on the team. He was 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his previous two starts against the Nationals.
After Darren O’Day worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, Zach Britton got three outs for his 15th save, capping his 22nd consecutive scoreless appearance at home by retiring Werth with a runner on first.
Gio Gonzalez (6-5) allowed three earned runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. His streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings ended when Pearce connected in the first.
Gonzalez won his previous three starts without giving up a run and was unbeaten in four starts following a one-month stay on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Baltimore added three runs in the third after Gonzalez retired the first two batters. After an RBI double by Jones put runners at second and third, Cruz grounded a run-scoring single in the hole that shortstop Ian Desmond gloved before throwing wildly to third, allowing Jones to score.
That ended Washington’s 13-game errorless streak, which matched the team’s longest run since the franchise moved from Montreal in 2005.
The Nationals closed to 4-3 in the sixth. After Werth homered on an 0-2 pitch - his second long ball in two nights - Zimmerman doubled and Desmond chased Chen with an RBI double off the scoreboard in right field before Tommy Hunter retired Wilson Ramos on a groundout.
Ramos later flied out with the bases full in the eighth.
NOTES:Baltimore optioned RHP Bud Norris to Double-A Bowie and recalled RHP Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk. Norris pitched Wednesday and won’t be needed against until after the All-Star break. … The Orioles host the New York Yankees in a three-game series before heading into the All-Star break. Miguel Gonzalez (4-5) faces New York’s Hiroki Kuroda in the opener Friday night. … Washington closes the first half with a three-game series in Philadelphia. Jordan Zimmermann will start for the Nationals on Friday night. … Ramos extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, but teammate Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 and is in a 1-for-20 skid over his last six games. … Orioles pitchers hit two batters, raising their AL-leading total to 43.