Tillman streak ends at 14 batters retired (O’s win 5-2)

Chris Tillman retired 14 straight batters tonight before Brandon Belt homered with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, reducing the Orioles’ lead to 2-1 over the Giants.

Tillman threw seven consecutive four-seam fastballs to Belt, who launched the last one to right-center field. Earlier in the at-bat, Belt actually tried to bunt for a hit.

Tillman has allowed 24 homers in 138 innings. He’s now surrendered 12 runs in the sixth this season, tying his highest total for any inning (also the second and third). He’s only given up one in the seventh.

Tillman had been dealing, holding the Giants to two hits and striking out seven before Belt homered. Tillman collected his eighth strikeout to end the inning, tying his career high.

The Giants didn’t have a baserunner since Pablo Sandoval walked in the second inning after plate umpire Mike Everitt incorrectly ruled that the third baseman got a piece of a ball in the dirt. It should have gone down as a strikeout.

Not that the call bothered Tillman. Nothing does these days.

Tillman is looking for his 11th win in his last 12 starts. He’s thrown 91 pitches, 65 for strikes.

Major League Baseball announced a scoring change from the eighth inning of a July 27 game against the Red Sox. Shortstop Stephen Drew is now charged with an error, removing a hit and RBI from J.J. Hardy.

Update: Tillman went eight innings for the third time this season, stranding the tying run at first base to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Tillman allowed one run and four hits, with one walk and a career-high nine strikeouts. He threw 112 pitches, 80 for strikes.

No, manager Buck Showalter did not leave him in the game too long.

Tillman is three outs away from registering his 15th win. Jim Johnson will attempt to nail down his 40th save.

Update II: Johnson suffered his seventh blown save by allowing a single, walking a batter and giving up another single before recording an out.

Hunter Pence singled into center field to score Brandon Belt and deny Tillman a 15th win. Johnson had converted 10 straight save opportunities.

Roger Kieschnick struck out with runners on the corners for the second out, and Gregor Blanco lined out to second.

The Orioles are 5-3 in extra innings.

To all the second-guessers: Bringing in the closer was the right move. It just didn’t work out. If Showalter sends Tillman back out for the ninth and the Giants score, he gets ripped for again staying with his starter for too long.

Update III: Chris Davis delivered a two-out, two-run double off left-hander Javier Lopez to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th inning, and he scored on Matt Wieters’ single to give the Orioles a 5-2 victory over the Giants.

Tommy Hunter pitched the bottom of the 10th for his third career save, all of them this season. Johnson was credited with the win.

Manny Machado collected his 42nd double with one out in the 10th. The Giants walked Adam Jones intentionally with two down, and Davis made them pay for it.

Left-handers were batting. 169 against Lopez.

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