"The last time in Tampa, I was thinking too much, so I messed up my [results]," Chen said, per MLB.com. "Today, I didn't try to think too much, and I feel everything was pretty good."
Chen went six innings and made just two mistakes, allowing two solo home runs to Chris Young and Mark Teixeria in the second and fourth innings respectively. His ERA gets down to 4.35 but is still in search of his first win of the year. He will look for it again Sunday against the Red Sox, who he is a career 5-3 record against with a 4.24 ERA.
Chen allowed three runs on four hits, including a home run, in his first start of the year. Chen made it through the first two innings unscathed, but surrendered a run in the third before allowing a two-run home run in the fourth and finishing with a no decision. Chen went 1-1 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts against Tampa Bay last year.
He begins the season with a 6.23 ERA. Chen will look to earn his first victory Monday against the Yankees.
"I think I finally got the feeling of my command back," Chen said through his interpreter, per masnsports.com, "and physically I feel great."
Chen closes the spring with a 2.45 ERA and 10:1 K:BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings this spring.
"Last spring, my off-speed pitches were pretty good at first, but it wasn't all that consistent," he said. "This year, I was trying to fill it out, and over this spring, and I felt better and better in mastering it. I talked to my teammates and coaches about how to throw it and how to grip it. And I think over this spring it's been getting better and better."
Chen is slated to open the regular season against the Rays on Tuesday.
Both Chen and Gonzalez were expected to join Opening Day starter Chris Tillman for the opening series against the Rays, and the team has settled on its probable pitchers for each game. Chen owns a 2.03 ERA and 6:1 K:BB ratio in 13 1/3 spring innings. Gonzalez has delivered a 5.40 ERA and 16:1 K:BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings.
“We’re leaning that way. It kind of slots him out the rest of the month where he should be," Showalter said. "Like I say, we’ve got a rare opportunity with playing in our division for as much as we do and the track record our starters have there in different venues against different teams and kind of take advantage of that.”
For his career, Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA in five starts at Tropicana Field.
Showalter said earlier this spring that
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/18/2015 vs Boston|
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