It’s happening again.
Chris Tillman has held the Nationals to one run over four innings, but he’s thrown 86 pitches and manager Buck Showalter had Jeremy Accardo warming in the bullpen.
Tillman hasn’t posted a clean inning among the four. He’s given up five hits, walked two and hit a batter.
The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on a double, walk and HBP. Ivan Rodriguez flied to right for the second out, with Jayson Werth holding at third base after Nick Markakis’ strong throw to the plate, but Alex Cora reached on an infield hit to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
The ball was headed to center field before deflecting off Tillman’s foot and bouncing toward Mark Reynolds, who failed to make the barehanded grab.
Roger Bernadina came within an inch or so of a grand slam, but Markakis made the catch at the fence.
I wonder if anyone else appreciated how easily Matt Wieters fielded Markakis’ throw on Rodriguez’s fly ball. He made it look routine, but that ball skips past a lot of catchers.
Mark Reynolds’ double in the second inning is the only hit off Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann through the fourth. Zimmermann has retired seven in a row.
Instant update: Accardo is warming again in the fifth. Tillman has allowed one run or fewer in his last three starts, and four of five, but he hasn’t gotten past the sixth. This could be the third time in that span that he’s been removed after the fifth.
Update II: Tillman is done after the fifth. He allowed one run and six hits, walked two, struck out four and hit a batter. Tillman threw 97 pitches 61 for strikes. The Orioles continue to trail, 1-0, in the sixth.