The Baltimore Orioles’ goal in this afternoon’s ballgame was to get a solid effort out of starter Chris Tillman. The Birds got that, and in the process also recorded a win over the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. Tillman’s line: 5.0 IP. 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K.
And it’s also worth mentioning that Tillman recorded give solid innings against a good Detroit lineup. Perhaps they aren’t what they were a few years ago, but they’re solid and Tillman kept them quiet most of the day (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
That is a good lineup. You definitely have to navigate them the right way. A couple of times there with guys in scoring position and an open base I was trying to pitch around some guys and they ended up getting themselves out. So I like when that happens. Because if I did pitch around them, we’d be talking about walks now.
The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Sardinas RBI-ground out, which extended to 2-0 one inning later after Pedro Alvarez‘s RBI-single. Detroit tried to make a game of it by coming to within one run (at 2-1) after an RBI-single. But the O’s weren’t about to be stopped on this day, as they got a two-run fifth inning homer from Jomar Reyes. Detroit would add a run in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough.
Again, wins and losses are still unimportant – for now. That phase of the season ends on Sunday afternoon. However the news of the day was Tillman’s start. Tillman was crisp, and he was effective during his five innings in the game today.
Following Tillman’s previous start, there was concern for his ability and his mindset going into the season. One hopes that some of those questions now abide. Where Tillman ends up in the rotation remains to be seen. But the fact is that the Birds need him to be effective this year, much like he was today.
The Birds will play three night games in this final week, which is good from the standpoint that most of the games during the regular season are at night. It gets the players into a routine of preparing for a night game. For what that’s worth.
The Orioles will return home to Sarasota tomorrow for an evening affair with the Tampa Rays, Nestor Cortes Jr., draws the starting assignment for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.