Chris Tillman retired the first four Toronto Blue Jays tonight, gave up a single a walk, and induced a double play grounder from Colby Rasmus.
The third inning was a breeze - and trust me, it’s breezy tonight. And bitter cold.
Tillman retired the Blue Jayas in order on two fly balls and a pop up. He’s thrown 35 pitches, 22 for strikes.
Tillman has gone 3 2/3, 5 1/3 and five innings in his first three starts. Alex Burnett is the long man tonight if he makes an early exit.
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ struck out three of the first five Orioles. J.J. Hardy walked with one out in the second and Happ hit Steve Pearce, but Nolan Reimold struck out and Alexi Casilla popped up.
Manager Buck Showalter talked to reporters earlier today about the club’s preference to bring up a pitcher from Triple-A Norfolk to make Wednesday’s start, rather than use someone out of his bullpen or pitch Jason Hammel or Wei-Yin Chen on short rest.
“Obviously, you start first with saying you could go on three days rest for someone,” Showalter said. “We’re not going to do that with Ham or Chen. And we’ve talked about it because Tommy (Hunter) and T.J. (McFarland) are a little stretched out and then you are robbing from Peter to pay Paul. Who’s going to give you long relief? Who’s going to be able to give you an extension?
“We’ve done some things where, if you go into extra innings or Jimmy (Johnson) is pitching with a one-run lead and they happen to tie it up, you always got to think about the what-if. You want somebody who can provide you with some length in an extra-inning game. It’s something we didn’t have last year, which is why Chris Davis pitched in a game.
“We considered it, but I’ll say this - if you do it, you’re going to create another problem. Both of these guys are pitching well out of the ‘pen for the most part. Tommy, you look around, you feel like if you look down at the stat sheet, he’s got a 7.00 or 8.00 ERA, the way people are talking. Tommy is pitching pretty well, all things considered. It just gets magnified because he hasn’t kept the ball in the ballpark as much as he’d like to.”
Freddy Garcia’s opt-out clause could be a tie-breaker “if everybody feels real close,” Showalter said. “But if someone is a little better, that’s where we’re going. That’s to be fair to both players. It’s not about hoarding players completely. That’s there to protect the player and give him the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues somewhere else if we don’t have the opportunity here.”
A position player won’t be sent down on Wednesday.
“I think we would be less likely to go with a three-man bench, especially with the way we’re constituted,” Showalter said.
Update: We no longer have a scoreless tie.
The Orioles put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth inning and settled for one run, on Chris Davis’ sacrifice fly - his 22nd RBI this season.
Manny Machado and Adam Jones singled to begin the inning, and they moved up on a wild pitch.
Will one run be enough?
Tillman retired 12 of the last 14 batters to get through the sixth.