Chris Tillman gave up six hits today. Two were triples. Two were home runs.
Not the extra-base ratio he sought in his return to the majors, but the Rays managed only three runs in 5 1/3 innings and he stood to be the winner if the bullpen could hold onto a 4-3 lead.
It didn’t. Pinch-hitter Reid Brignac greeted reliever Jim Johnson with a single and B.J. Upton hit a two-run homer, the ball traveling an estimated 410 feet.
Tillman will have to settle for a no-decision.
Evan Longoria’s two-run shot in the sixth hastened his departure. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz visited the mound, and catcher Craig Tatum did the same - stalling to give Johnson more time to warm up - after Matt Joyce flied to deep left.
Manager Buck Showalter popped out of the dugout before the next batter came to the plate, and Tillman left to a nice ovation.
Tillman threw 87 pitches, 51 for strikes. He still needs to be more of a strike-thrower at this level, but at least he’s back.
Update: The sloppy play continues. John Jaso blooped a single to left, advancing Jason Bartlett to second base, and both runners moved up when Felix Pie’s throw back to the infield skipped through Ty Wigginton’s legs. Wigginton was charged with the error, but Pie made a poor throw after hesitating and noticing that Bartlett had taken a wide turn around second.
The mishap didn’t cost the Orioles a run, but Showalter was watching. He couldn’t miss it. The ball almost bounced into the dugout.