The official scorer exercised his right to award the win to Alfredo Simon, judging that Jim Johnson and Michael Gonzalez were too ineffective in brief appearances. Once Johnson was skipped, you pick the guy who was the most effective out of the remaining group. It’s not real common, but it happens.
Simon turned in a perfect eighth, and Koji Uehara did the same in the ninth by retiring Ben Zobrist, Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria.
“We were all joking, everybody kind of turns when Koji strikes out Longoria and goes, ‘It’s over. That’s it. There’s no more outs,’” manager Buck Showalter said. “The eighth inning was probably the key inning of the game, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you Zobrist, Crawford and Longoria weren’t pretty key, also.”
Here’s what Showalter thought about Chris Tillman’s start:
“It was a good initial outing, keeping in mind he’s a 22-year-old young man, six or seven weeks from his last start up here. Had a successful outing and that was good to see. I know I was probably putting myself in his shoes a little bit and I’m sure he had a lot of emotions running out there. Obviously, a really good offensive team. He gave us a really good chance to win.”
Showalter removed Tillman after 5 1/3 innings, allowing him to leave on a high note.
“Like I said, he’s a 22-year-old young man who’s had a successful outing and starting to show a little bit of signs that it might be getting away from him. I’d rather he come out of there, regardless of what happens, with a win or a no-decision. Being a little protective of him in that situation, looking at his situation a little bit, how it’s a little different than others. We had a full bullpen today.
“You knew the way that ball was flying around. I got a full feel for Camden Yards in a day game. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. I’ve already turned two or three times to people and gone, ‘That ball went out of here?’”
The Orioles have their first series win over the Rays since April 2009.
Showalter isn’t real excited with the term “spoilers.”
“What’s the opposite of spoilers? Something’s not spoiled, it’s...ripe? I don’t know,” Showalter said.
“I like to think more along the terms of what’s best for the Baltimore Orioles, and if that happens as a result...The priority is the first part. It shouldn’t matter whether or not somebody’s in it or not in it.
“As tough as it is, I hope it doesn’t happen, but there is something to be said for our guys watching guys have a game that gets them in the playoffs. I hope it isn’t against us, but if it is, I want them to watch it because that’s where we want to be one day. There’s nothing like fall baseball. As Bill Parcells says, it’s why you lift all those weights.”
And put up with Lawrence Taylor.