I wondered how Chris Tillman would respond after the long wait in the dugout during the Orioles’ two-run sixth inning. It wasn’t a marathon, but it might have seemed that way to Tillman, who’s accustomed to taking a seat on the bench, removing his cap to wipe the sweat off his forehead and getting right back up.
The Orioles actually provided some rest for Tillman, along with a 2-1 lead, but Aaron Hill crushed his first pitch in the bottom half of the inning for the tying home run.
Tillman laid a 90 mph fastball belt-high to Hill on his 81st pitch of the game. Now he’s gone after 96, with two outs and a runner on second base.
Tillman is charged with two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks and three strikeouts - all in the first inning.
Not bad at all for his first major league appearance of 2010. He had some trouble finding his arm slot and was missing badly at times with his fastball - while also running up his pitch count - but he kept battling.
It’s good to have him back up here. This was a promising start. Now he needs to build on it. We need to see progress.
Cesar Izturis’ double started the rally in the top of the sixth and gave the Orioles their first extra-base hit in 29 innings. Singles by Julio Lugo and Nick Markakis provided the brief 2-1 lead.
Update: Maybe Jason Berken should only face lefties. Vernon Wells homered into the third deck in left field to give Toronto a 3-2 lead in the eighth and draw the Orioles closer to losing another road series. The offense is an issue again. Four hits over eight innings.
Update II: Manager Dave Trembley summoned left-hander Alberto Castillo to face Lyle Overbay. Lefty vs. lefty. And Overbay launched Castillo’s first pitch for a two-run homer. Toronto 5, Orioles 2.
Time to go outside.