His night began when he gave up four runs to the game’s first five hitters and ended with his being optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk.
It could have gone better here this evening for Orioles’ right-hander Chris Tillman, who gave up six runs and eight hits in just 2 2/3 in a 6-3 loss to Chicago.
“I felt fine. It is frustrating,” Tillman said quietly in the Orioles clubhouse. “I wasn’t necessarily making bad pitches, but they got way too comfortable early. They were diving over the plate and by the time I noticed it, it was too late. You have to pitch effectively inside and I failed to do that today.
“I was throwing the ball on the outer half of the plate, but it looked middle to them because I am not throwing in enough.”
Tillman falls to 3-5 with an ERA of 5.52 after his 77-pitch outing. This was his shortest outing since he pitched just 1 2/3 and allowed six runs on April 13 against New York.
He continues to be frustrated by his own inconsistency.
“Absolutely,” Tillman said. “Every other one is a tough one. Handing the ball to the bullpen in the third or fourth inning doesn’t cut it. No excuses, I have to do better, that’s the bottom line. What happened here tonight wasn’t good enough.
“Tonight, the offspeed wasn’t there for me and when it was, they were too comfortable tonight. It doesn’t normally go your way when that is true.
“This is frustrating, it won’t cut it, to wear your bullpen out. I have to do better,” Tillman said after his 13th start of the season.
Meanwhile, across the clubhouse, Nick Markakis talked about his two-run homer off Mark Buehrle in the third which was the 100th homer of his career.
“I’d feel a lot better if we won the game. We know we are up against a guy that knows how to pitch in Buehrle. He’s around the plate and you go up there looking for a good pitch in the zone.
“It’s not something you dream about (100 home runs), I guess you dream about playing in the World Series one day. Everything else you play day-by-day,” Markakis said.
He became the 21st to record 100 homers with the Orioles and he got the ball from the fan that caught it.
“I gave up a signed bat and ball and met the guy who caught it. Nice guy. Very energetic and it was good to get the ball and see the fans.”
Markakis was asked about Tillman and his struggles to string together solid outings at the major league level.
“It’s a matter of being consistent. He’s got the stuff, he’s got great stuff. He got here for a reason. It’s just a matter of putting it together on a consistent basis. That’s the biggest thing in baseball, being consistent,” Markakis said of Tillman.