Tillman’s slow start (updated)

Chris Tillman threw 20 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes, and fell behind, 1-0, to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sean Rodriguez led off with a single and scored one out later on Evan Longoria’s double to left-center field. Nolan Reimold couldn’t run down the ball on the warning track. A few reporters sitting in the press box believed Felix Pie would have caught it.

Carlos Pena popped up on one pitch, and B.J. Upton bounced a 2-0 pitch to short for the final out.

Time was called with Upton batting, and a member of the Orioles’ training staff brought out a towel so Tillman could wipe his pitching hand.

My first thought was “blister,” but I have no idea. Maybe he just needed to clean off his hand and didn’t want to use his pant leg.

Tillman gave up singles to Matt Joyce and Dioner Navarro to open the second inning, but he retired the next three batters without giving up a run. Reid Brignac flied out, Fernando Perez took a called third strike and Sean Rodriguez grounded into a force.

Tillman has thrown 39 pitches through two innings.

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