Chris Tillman will fail again to win back-to-back decisions in the majors.
That’s because he failed to get out of the first inning tonight.
The best he can hope for is a no-decision, and it’s going to take one heck of a rally from the Orioles.
Tillman lasted only two-thirds of an inning, the shortest outing of his career. He faced 10 batters and gave up seven runs and five hits, walked two and struck out one.
Only one run was earned after Mark Reynolds failed to backhand Ryan Doumit’s bouncer with the bases loaded and two outs.
Manager Buck Showalter had seen enough after leadoff hitter Denard Span, batting for the second time in the inning, stroked a three-run double to right-center field on Tillman’s 49th pitch.
Reynolds has to shoulder a lot of the blame after committing his 10th error, and the 77th by the Orioles this season, but Tillman wasn’t nearly the same pitcher who limited the Mariners to two unearned runs in 8 1/3 innings on July 4.
The Twins have the worst record in the American League at 36-52. It’s unacceptable for the Orioles to be behind by seven runs in the top of the second inning.
(To be fair, I should point out that the Twins were batting .260 before tonight, 14th in the majors. The Orioles were batting .239, which ranked 26th. And Twins right fielder Ben Revere made a diving catch to rob Adam Jones after the Orioles put two runners on base with no outs in the first.)
Instant update: Wilson Betemit’s single in the top of the second scored Reynolds, who led off with a double.
Update II: Joe Mauer homered off Miguel Socolovich in the bottom of the second. The Twins lead, 8-1.
Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta has surrendered three runs and six hits, with seven strikeouts, in five innings in his first start at Triple-A Norfolk. He gave up a two-run homer to Rochester’s Wilkin Ramirez in the first.
Arrieta has thrown 101 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Outfielder Nate McLouth hit another home run, his ninth.
Update III: Reynolds is trying to make amends. His three-run homer in the fifth reduced the Twins’ lead to 11-5.
Reynolds is 3-for-3 with his first four-RBI game of the season. It’s also the first time he’s had more than two hits in a game since going 4-for-5 against the Pirates on June 14.
Update IV: Endy Chavez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning while wearing his cap underneath his batting helmet. Or someone else’s batting helmet.
Final score: Twins 19, Orioles 7.
The Orioles’ bullpen surrendered 12 runs tonight, including five by Jim Johnson in one-third of an inning. Johnson’s ERA jumped to 2.56.
The Orioles have used at least six relievers in three of the last four games.
Who’s available tomorrow night when Zach Britton makes his first start?