It was bound to happen again.
Chris Tillman took a shutout into the seventh inning today before being charged with two runs. He’s registered back-to-back quality starts for the second time in his career, and the first since August 2009.
Ryan Roberts opened the seventh with a walk and Carlos Pena followed with a fly ball to left field that Chris Davis appeared to lose in the sun. It bounced on the warning track and hopped the fence for a ground-rule double, and San Fuld’s double scored two runs and sent manager Buck Showalter to the mound.
Tillman left to a standing ovation from an announced crowd of 21,301.
Darren O’Day replace Tillman and struck out Jose Molina. Elliot Johnson reached on second baseman Omar Quintanilla’s error, putting runners on the corners, but O’Day retired the next two batters on a pop up and liner to left.
Tillman allowed five hits, walked four and struck out five. He threw 100 pitches, 61 for strikes.
Tillman has never won back-to-back decisions in 39 major league starts, but he’s lined up for it today if the bullpen doesn’t blow a 5-2 lead. In his last start, he held the Indians to one run in 6 2/3 innings.
In four starts this season, Tillman has allowed four earned runs and 12 total in 21 2/3 innings.
The Orioles’ errorless streak ended at six games and 59 innings on Wilson Betemit’s miscue in the fifth, his 14th of the season. Mark Reynolds made a high throw earlier on a 3-6-3 double play, and it took a leaping catch and return throw from J.J. Hardy to save him from an error. Reynolds saved Hardy by scooping the ball out of the dirt.
Update: Pedro Strop has entered the game in the top of the eighth, and he’s protecting a 6-2 lead after Davis’ 16th home run of the season.
Davis has driven in four runs for the first time since April 28 against Oakland.
Update II: Jim Johnson got the last three outs in a non-save situation, and the Orioles ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Rays.
Johnson gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, but the Orioles turned their fourth double play.