Orioles go for series win today, Chen pitches in simulated game

The Orioles have an early game today in Detroit, and Chris Tillman will attempt to record his 10th quality start out of 15 appearances, and his fourth in a row.

In three June outings, Tillman has held opponents to three earned runs (four total) and 11 hits in 19 innings, with seven walks and 16 strikeouts.

Tillman is 1-0 with a 4.07 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers, with 11 runs and 17 hits in 24 1/3 innings. He's walked 13 and struck out 20. He's allowed six runs and eight hits in 12 2/3 innings in two starts at Comerica Park, with nine walks and nine strikeouts.

Miguel Cabrera is 3-for-7 with a double, home run and four RBIs against Tillman. Jhonny Peralta is 1-for-10 with a home run.

Nick Markakis is 7-for-16 with a double and home run against Tigers starter Rick Porcello. J.J. Hardy is 5-for-12 with a double.

Matt Wieters is 4-for-11 with a double, but he may not start a day game following a night game.

Down in Sarasota, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game Thursday after bullpen sessions on Saturday and Monday.

Chen threw only fastballs and changeups in Saturday's session, but he broke out everything on Monday while throwing 45 pitches.

"He looks good. He's coming right along. He's right on track," said Scott McGregor, the Orioles' pitching rehab coordinator.

"He's still a little rusty with his command, a little bit, but he's had no ill effects from the (oblique) injury. He's coming along good. He's worked really hard. Obviously, he wants to get back at it, but he understands the process."

The simulated game will allow Chen to sit between innings and warm up again. He'll face hitters and have a defense behind him. It's a controlled environment, "one of the nice things we're able to do down here," McGregor said.

"These tests will let everyone know exactly where he's at. And it's not like he had a shoulder injury or anything like that. We're trying to keep his pitch count up so that when he comes back, he comes back in full force."

Manager Buck Showalter indicated that Chen could return in time to make a few starts before the All-Star break, as long as the pain doesn't return in his side.

"It all depends on what happens here," McGregor said. "I know everyone would like that to happen, but once again, we don't want any setbacks here. We'll progress along with him, but I don't see any reason why it can't happen if everything goes perfectly."

The Orioles will have to make room for Chen in a rotation that currently includes Tillman, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Freddy Garcia and Zach Britton. Kevin Gausman, who made his Triple-A debut last night, also could return.

Dylan Bundy isn't ready to start pitching, but he's scheduled to throw off flat ground again today after taking off yesterday. He threw from 90 feet on Monday without any discomfort or stiffness in his right forearm.

"I've been watching him play catch. He's feeling fine," McGregor said. "He's not feeling anything in there. Obviously, we're taking it with kid gloves with him, but he looked fine throwing.

"It's an every other day thing with him. We're just increasing his reps. The same old process. Nothing changes with that."

Steve Johnson continues to receive treatment each day for his strained oblique. He hasn't been cleared to throw.

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