Tillman muscling up early (Yankees lead again)

Chris Tillman has retired the first six Yankees he’s faced in Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, striking out four in a row.

Tillman’s fastball is 92-94 mph, and he froze Nick Swisher on a curveball for one of those strikeouts.

Swisher might have froze because the ball was a little outside, but that’s pretty much been the norm in this series. The strike zone has been expanded.

Tillman has thrown 24 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Ten of the 26 runs that he’s allowed this season have come in the first inning, so retiring the side in order today was a positive development.

Tillman could be optioned after the first game to make room for Zach Britton on the 25-man roster, but manager Buck Showalter wasn’t ready to commit to that move while meeting with reporters earlier today. He hinted that Tillman could influence the decision with a strong outing.

Brad Bergesen was placed on three-day paternity leave, which made room for Tillman.

Also, Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Matt Angle has been day-to-day with a sprained left wrist, but he might return to the lineup tonight. He left Wednesday’s game with the injury.

Update: The Yankees scored twice off Tillman in the bottom of the third, but the Orioles tied the game in the fourth on RBI grounders by Craig Tatum and J.J. Hardy.

Mark Reynolds and Felix Pie singled to start the rally. Blake Davis doubled before Hardy’s ground ball.

Yankees starter Bartolo Colon has thrown 90 pitches in four innings.

Update II: Tillman’s start is unraveling. Robinson Cano walked and Nick Swisher homered to begin the bottom of the fourth, breaking a 2-2 tie.

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