Chris Tillman has held the Indians to one run over five innings tonight.
What he can’t do so far is enjoy a lead.
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez is shutting out the Orioles over six innings. He left the bases loaded in the sixth, allowing a single to Manny Machado and walking Chris Davis and Matt Wieters.
Michael Morse, who singled in his first at-bat tonight, bounced to the mound to end the threat. He’s 3-for-7 in two games with the Orioles.
Morse was a career .350 hitter with the bases loaded before that at-bat.
The Orioles scored 14 runs in the past two games, but they can’t break through tonight against Jimenez.
Tillman has allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three. He’s thrown 86 pitches, 54 for strikes.
The Indians took the lead in the fourth after Tillman began the inning by walking Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana. Asdrubal Cabrera lifted a sacrifice fly to break the scoreless tie.
In two career starts at Progressive Field, Tillman surrendered seven earned runs in 8 2/3 innings. But the road has routinely been kind to him.
Among American League starters with 100 or more innings pitched on the road since the start of 2012, Tillman’s 2.98 ERA in 124 innings ranked second only to James Shields (2.97) heading into tonight. He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in 19 of his last 21 road starts dating back to July 4, 2012.
Down on the farm, Jason Hammel allowed one run and three hits in four innings with short-season Single-A Aberdeen, with one walk and two strikeouts.
Hammel is expected to rejoin the Orioles on Saturday, though that plan is subject to change like everything else. Don’t write it down in ink.
Update: Tillman issued a season-high five walks tonight. Two were intentional.
The unintentional walks were the ones that hurt him.
Tillman lasted only 5 1/3 innings and left with the Orioles trailing 4-0 after Yan Gomes’ two-run double. Cabrera had another sacrifice fly after Santana drew a leadoff walk and Michael Brantley doubled.
This is Tillman’s shortest outing since he went 5 1/3 innings on Aug. 2. He won’t pick up his 16th win. He’s trying to avoid his fifth loss.
T.J. McFarland stranded Gomes at second. He’s now stranded 12 of 27 inherited runners.
Update II: Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy singled off Indians closer Chris Perez to start the top of the ninth and Nate McLouth homered for the second time in two nights to reduce Cleveland’s lead to 4-3.
That’s six RBIs for McLouth in this series.
Too bad he couldn’t squeeze out at least one more.
Perez retired the next three batters and the Orioles lost 4-3.
The Orioles are 4-50 when trailing after the seventh and 3-49 after the eighth. They’re 15-25 in one-run games.