O's righty delivers quality start in first 'L' since May 31
By Jeff Seidel
Special to MLB.com |
BALTIMORE -- Orioles starter Chris Tillman came into Saturday's game trying for an eighth consecutive winning decision. The right-hander dominated the Twins for much of his 6 2/3-innings effort, but Minnesota scratched out two runs in the seventh to end his streak.
Despite taking the loss in the Twins' 3-2 victory over the Orioles on Saturday night, Tillman received plenty of praise. He turned in another sharp effort but just didn't get a lot of offensive support, which proved to be the key.
Tillman (9-8), who had not lost since May 31, allowed the three runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked just two -- even retiring 14 consecutive batters at one point, keeping the Twins without a baserunner for nearly five innings.
"I thought he repeated his delivery a lot and stayed in sync," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He had three pitches, actually used a fourth one sometimes tonight. He pitched well enough to win."
Tillman gave up a single and a walk with one out in the first and then didn't allow a runner until Eduardo Escobar doubled to start the sixth. Byron Buxton sacrificed him to third, and Brian Dozier followed with a single that tied the game at 1.
J.J. Hardy put the Orioles up again with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but the Twins manufactured two runs in the seventh to hand Tillman the loss.
Tillman gave up a one-out walk to Eddie Rosario, who quickly went to third on Torii Hunter's single. Kurt Suzuki then tied the game with a great safety squeeze to Tillman, who had no option other than throwing to first. A pitching change and intentional walk later, Buxton lined an RBI single off Brad Brach to give the Twins the lead at 3-2, and it held up.
"[I] made a lot of pitches both early and late to get some key outs, and I thought, for the most part, it was pretty good," Tillman said. "For the most [part], my pitches, all of them were there for me throughout."
Tillman did get his 600th career strikeout in the fourth, fanning Trevor Plouffe. Despite the loss, Tillman is 7-1 with a 3.52 ERA and nine quality starts in his last 13 outings. It was another good effort -- he just didn't get much luck.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.