Rupe a silver lining in 9-1 loss (updated)

It's hard to find anything positive to say about a 9-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals, but I'll focus on reliever Josh Rupe.

Rupe replaced starter Chris Tillman in the fourth and tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed only one hit, walked one and struck out two, and lowered his ERA from 7.59 to 5.65.

Welcome back to Kansas City, Josh.

Rupe had surrendered nine earned runs and 15 hits in his last seven appearances covering 9 2/3 innings.

Clay Rapada replaced Rupe and served up Melky Cabrera's home run in the eighth. That's another run allowed in two-thirds of an inning.

Rapada has been scored upon in five straight appearances since his three-strikeout scoreless debut after the Orioles purchased his contract.

Chris Tillman's ERA rose to 7.16 today. The Orioles are off Monday and could choose to skip his turn in the rotation. We'll see how that one plays out.

We'll also hear more talk about how the club needs a true backup catcher.

One more note: The Orioles optioned pitcher Chris Jakubauskas to Triple-A Norfolk today after sending him on an injury rehab assignment, and pitcher Chorye Spoone was transferred to Double-A Bowie.

Instant update: Manager Buck Showalter told MASN's Gary Thorne that he thought "Tilly had decent stuff today."

Asked if Tillman will stay in the rotation, Showalter replied, "As far as I'm concerned. He's going to have to get better. I thought the way he started out, he was going to pitch pretty well. Stuff-wise, he was in better shape than he has been."

Showalter concluded the interview by stressing again that Tillman needs to pitch better. The leash can't be that long.

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