AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) - Rookie Wei-Yin Chen struck out a career-high 12, Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
It was a rare setback for the A's, who fell to 18-4 this month and 12-3 since the All-Star break. The Athletics need to win one of their next two games to complete the best July in franchise history.
Chen (9-6) allowed one unearned run, three hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings against a torrid Oakland team that had scored 40 runs in its previous four games.
Alternating an accurate fastball with a sharp-breaking curve, the left-hander struck out every A's starter except No. 9 hitter Brandon Hicks.
Chen, who pitched four seasons in Japan before coming to Baltimore, set a major league record for strikeouts by a Taiwanese-born pitcher. The old mark was 10 by Chien-Ming Wang in 2007. The last time an Oriole pitcher had as many as 12 strikeouts was in July 2007, when Erik Bedard fanned 15 against Texas.
In two starts against Oakland this year, Chen is 2-0 with an 0.71 ERA.
A's starter Travis Blackley (3-3) gave up five runs, six hits and four walks in five innings. He was 3-0 in six starts since June 10.
Omar Quintanilla had three hits, including a homer, to help Baltimore win for only the second time in seven games.
Lew Ford, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first big league game since 2007. But the Orioles left fielder contributed a strong throw to cut down Yeonis Cespedes, who was trying to stretch a second-inning hit into a double.
After going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in a 6-0 loss Saturday night, the Orioles got two such hits in a four-run fourth. With runners at first and second and one out, Adam Jones doubled in a run. Wieters then ended a 1-for-31 skid with a drive into the left-field seats, only the third homer allowed by Blackley in 67 innings this season.
Baltimore added a run in the fifth when J.J. Hardy ran home on the second error of the game by Oakland first baseman Chris Carter.
Limited to one hit through five innings, the A's finally got to Chen in the sixth. Jemile Weeks walked and Jonny Gomes reached on an error by Quintanilla at second base before Cespedes hit an RBI single. After a single by Brandon Inge loaded the bases, Darren O'Day retired Derek Norris on a popup.
NOTES: Orioles 2B Brian Roberts announced before the game that he will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. Roberts, 34, played in only 17 games this season. ... Oakland obtained C George Kottaras from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for minor league reliever Fautino De Los Santos. ... A's OF Coco Crisp missed the game with a tight left hamstring, but RF Josh Reddick returned after missing one game with a bruised back. ... Oakland opens a 10-game homestand Monday at home against Tampa Bay. The A's are 8-2 during a stretch of 17 straight games against the AL East.
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