SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles starters Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman both pitched in a "B" game on Thursday morning against the Pirates, and the pair of right-handers came away pleased.
For Tillman, who has been dealing with a hip flexor injury, he went two innings and threw 30 pitches (19 for strikes).
"I felt really good about it. I felt adrenaline and everything," said Tillman, who will throw a bullpen session on Sunday. "I took it as a normal start as I do every start."
Tillman said he feels the hip flexor at random times now, but it's more of a general soreness. The big test will be how he feels on Friday.
"You look at his facial expression after he throws a pitch and the way the ball's hit," manager Buck Showalter said. "I watch him throw the ball. All indications were pretty good, but we'll see what tomorrow brings. I know talking to him he was upbeat about it. He was happy to get that behind him, get on his way. I think there's only one more missed start before it puts the season in jeopardy. He's still missed one, the way that [pitching coach Dave Wallace] Wally has it figured. It would be close, which would push him to the back of the rotation. But right now he's still in line to pitch wherever we want him to pitch."
Gausman, who has already appeared in a Grapefruit League game, went three innings and threw 41 pitches (26 strikes).
"I pitched in the same exact thing last year, a 'B' game against the Pirates. I guess I'm used to pitching at 10 a.m.," Gausman joked. "It's a little bit different just because it is early, but I felt good. Threw some real good breaking balls for strikes and when I wanted them to chase. Left two pitches up, and those were the two I gave up doubles in. Overall, I feel good and got my work in out of the stretch."
Gausman didn't get to see Tillman pitch -- he was warming up -- but acknowledged how important it is for his rotation mate to be full strength.
"He said he feels good," Gausman said. "We are all excited, ready to have him back. And glad it's not as serious of a thing as it should have been. Hopefully he comes in tomorrow and feels good and we'll kind of go from there."