By Sam Bush
The Phillies have met the enemy, and it doesn’t matter if it is the National League or the American:
This is a club that cannot hit, no matter which league it is facing!
Wei-Yin Chen pitched eight innings of four-hit ball, Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the skidding Phillies 4-0 Monday night.
Chen (3-4) struck out nine and walked one to help the Orioles win for the ninth time in 11 games. The eight innings tied his career high and was the longest stint by an Orioles starter this month.
Zach Britton got the final three outs to seal the last-place Phillies’ seventh straight defeat. Philly has been blanked in three of its last four games.
The Phillies have lost 11 in a row on the road and are a major league-worst 7-27 in away games. The loss — their 17th in the last 20 games overall —dropped them a season-high 21 games under .500 (22-43).
Philly rookie Maikel Franco was ejected from the game in the seventh inning by home plate umpire Eric Cooper for arguing a third-strike call. Franco also showed his displeasure in the first inning after being called out on strikes.
Aaron Harang (4-8) matched zeroes with Chen until the fifth inning, when Travis Snider hit a two-out double off the glove of left fielder Cody Asche and J.J. Hardy lined a single past the outstretched arm of shortstop Freddy Galvis.
Wieters connected in the sixth to make it 4-0. After missing the first two months of the season recovering from elbow surgery, he is batting 333 with two homers and seven RBIs in eight games.
Harang gave up four runs and five hits in six innings. He’s lost five straight starts for the first time since 2009.
Following a rain shower that delayed the start for 27 minutes, both pitchers went to work. Chen allowed a walk over the first three innings and Harang yielded a bunt single by Chris Davis, who was wiped out in a double play.
Manny Machado drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and reached third base with one out before Harang retired Adam Jones and Davis.