With today’s holiday, it’s more likely that Tillman will undergo the MRI on Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Tillman retired the last four batters he faced yesterday and left with the Orioles trailing 2-0. He was 6-1 with a 3.67 ERA and five quality starts in his last eight outings.
The Orioles planned on selecting reliever Zach Phillips’ contract Tuesday, once Triple-A Norfolk’s season had ended. However, he’s the only available left-hander in the bullpen today with Brian Matusz appearing in each of the last three games and Randy Wolf throwing 49 pitches in 3 1/2 innings yesterday.
Left-handed hitters were 2-for-20 against Phillips last season during his 10 appearances with the Orioles, but he posted a 5.31 ERA against them at Norfolk this summer. He had a 1.87 ERA against right-handers.
Phillips allowed two runs and four hits in 13 1/3 innings in spring training, but he had another minor league option and Troy Patton couldn’t be sent down without clearing waivers. Patton stuck with the team, and it turned out to be the right decision for the Orioles.
Jake Arrieta has struck out four batters in his first two innings today in Norfolk’s season finale against Gwinnett. The Orioles will recall Arrieta and use him out of the bullpen initially, but the rotation has a lot of moving parts, as manager Buck Showalter likes to say, so the right-hander could get a few starts.
Brandon Waring hit his 13th homer today for Norfolk. He had 11 homers with Double-A Bowie.
Update: Adam Jones is 1-for-2 today, making him 10-for-22 with four homers and six RBIs at Rogers Centre this season. Before today, he was hitting .395/.489/.842 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games against the Blue Jays.
Arrieta struck out nine Gwinnett batters in five innings today. He allowed one run and three hits, and walked one. He was removed after 70 pitches, 47 for strikes, which will make him available sooner in relief for the Orioles.
Update II: Remember the Nick Markakis stats I passed along in my previous entry? Well, you can add an RBI double and a run scored, both coming in the fifth inning.
Markakis drove in Robert Andino, who led off with a single, and he scored on J.J. Hardy’s double.
Jones singled to center field, making him 11-for-23 at Rogers Centre this season. Hardy stopped at third base with no outs, putting runners on the corners, and Jones stole second, but they were stranded.
Let’s see if that comes back to haunt the Orioles, who had a chance to open up a bigger lead than 3-0.
J.A. Happ has struck out nine batters in five innings.
Happ drilled Markakis on the left elbow in the first inning, bringing a great deal of concern from the Orioles’ dugout. He stayed in the game and has contributed at the plate.
Update III: Joe Saunders retired the first 17 batters before Adeiny Hechavarria singled to center field. Rajai Davis walked, but Colby Rasmus struck out.
Not a bad second outing for Saunders after he allowed six earned runs (seven total) and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the White Sox in his Orioles debut.
Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells came out to check on Jones in the top of the seventh inning. Jones appeared to twist his ankle while swinging at a pitch. Or maybe he’s cramping up. Every ball seems to be hit to him today.
The Orioles are trying to win this game and get out of there in one piece.
Update IV: So much for a letdown.
Luis Ayala inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh and got out of it. He had let 18 of 36 inherited runners score before today.
Pedro Strop had a much-needed 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, and Jim Johnson closed out a 4-0 victory over the Blue Jays, who were held to three hits.