ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chris Tillman couldn’t locate his fastball to right-handed hitters tonight, which Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria - a right-handed hitter who feasts on misplaced fastballs - could easily attest.
Tillman served up two home runs to Longoria and another to Ryan Roberts in a 4-1 loss to the Rays.
“I didn’t make my pitches,” Tillman said. “I was trying to go away on him with all of them and just couldn’t locate the ball to my glove side. I left the ball up in the zone. Sometimes, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. He put some good swings on them. I should have been better.
“I think I was pretty relaxed. I had the same mindset I always do. I went out with the same approach. I just wasn’t able to locate my fastball away to righties tonight and that’s what hurt me tonight.”
The outcome forced the Orioles to hit the road for Friday’s wild card game in Arlington.
“You’d like to play at home,” Tillman said. “I wish we could play at home every game, but I think we’re in a good place right now. We know what we need to do. We’re going to go out and get after it and I think we’re excited.”
Tillman said he wasn’t bothered by the pressure of pitching in such an important game.
“No, not at all,” he said. “I knew what I needed to do and I just didn’t get it done. I didn’t locate my fastball. You’ve got to give them credit. Their guys threw really well the last couple of days. It was impressive. We’ve got to go forward from here. We’ve got to move on.”
Chris Davis, whose home run streak ended at six games, thought the Orioles were “a little tight the whole series, but that’s how it is in the postseason.”
“Every pitch counts, every at-bat counts, so hopefully it will give us a little insight as to what it’s going to be like,” he said.
“We would definitely like to be at home. Obviously, we’d like to be play as many games at home as we can. But we knew it would be hard no matter what we were able to do with the way it was this year. But you know what? We’ve go to saddle up and go to Texas.”
Davis isn’t worried about the Orioles being able to shake off this loss and get ready for the Rangers.
“It’s been the same all year,” he said. “I saw a stat today. We hadn’t lost two games in a row for forever, a couple weeks ago. But that’s part of it. This is a good team, a good pitching staff and they battled us until the end.”
Asked if the club is excited, Davis broke out his familiar sense of humor.
“No, we’re just going to hang our heads and mope into Texas,” he said. “Of course we’re excited. This is the first time this team has been to the postseason in 15 years. This organization has to be excited. We’re ready to go.
“Right now, we’re going to take it one game at a time. Obviously, if you lose, you’re done. We’re going to try to do everything we can to beat Texas and get back home.”
Adam Jones has a message for Orioles fans.
“I know some people in Baltimore are frustrated. We wanted Camden Yards rocking. I hope everybody in Baltimore, you go out to the bars, you go out to wherever you’re going to watch the game. If you’re coming to Texas, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of people coming to Texas. We need the support. Of course, we want to host a game at Camden Yards, but we have a game in Texas on Friday that we really need to host a game at Camden, so we need the support of O’s nation.