The Orioles were challenged by the heat, the quick turnaround and the Tampa Bay Rays, and they overcame all three in a 6-2 victory at Camden Yards.
“It’s a day you don’t want to make too many visits to the mound,” said manager Buck Showalter. “That’s a challenging day. I’m proud of them. Short rest, turnaround. That’s why they’re different. Of course, there’s a lot of people who work hard in the heat in our country.”
Including sportswriters, but back to the game.
Here’s Showalter on Chris Tillman’s effort:
“Good. I thought the play of the game was (Mark) Reynolds’ double play early on. That’s got ‘first and third, maybe a run scored’ written all over it. J.J. (Hardy) made a great play, too. Mark made two plays. Caught the ball and picked the short hop coming back.
“I’d like to see the walks diminish, especially on a day like today. When guys are standing around for periods of time, really makes it tough on the offense. It’s a physically challenging day. I’ve seen these guys come in every inning.
“Tilly should have been able to get seven (innings). Cut the walks down, he probably could have pitched eight.”
Tillman is showing more consistency this season, with three quality starts in four outings. He’s won consecutive starts for the first time in his career.
“I think after he got through talking to you all last time after his good outing, I said, ‘What are you doing? You get ready for your next start, turn the page, good and bad. What are you going to do between now and then, who are you pitching against, who’s the pitcher for the other team?’ That’s the thing that you have to do,” Showalter said. “You have to move on to the next challenge, whether it’s good or bad, and prepare it. Those four days are precious that you get ready for that.
“Tilly’s a tough guy. He competes. There’s a lot of things to like about him. And I think hopefully he’s starting to grasp that. He’s still one of the younger pitchers in the American League.
“Wieters was great with him today. He had some great 2-0 changeups that really stopped the swing mode and gave them some thoughts of other pitches being there. The curveball really wasn’t there for him consistently, but Matt went right to the changeup to get them off the fastball. He actually threw a lot more sliders than he usually does today. It has to happen sometimes. You’re not going to walk out there carrying all your bullets, especially on a day like today.”
J.J. Hardy had X-rays on his ribcage that came back negative. He’s sporting a bad bruise after being hit by a pitch.
“J.J. got a pretty good pop there,” Showalter said. “I was talking to him down there. He’s pretty sore. Got it right in the ribcage.”