Chen earned No. 82 in the Royals' 7-1 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night. Rivera retired with that many after his Hall of Fame career with the Yankees.
A Panamanian flag hung in Chen's locker after the game.
Would Chen text Rivera to give him the news?
"I don't have Mariano's number," he said. "But I know him, I've trained with him and he's a great baseball player. I think he's going to be very happy that I was able to tie him."
Rivera retired after last season with an 82-60 record, all with the Yankees. Chen is 82-78, compiled with 10 different teams.
Of course, Rivera has a fairly substantial lead over Chen in the matter of games saved.
"I think he has like 650-something. I lost count," Chen said. "I've got one. He's not shutting me out."
No, he's not. But the score is 652-1.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.