The Orioles welcomed Chris Tillman back to their rotation tonight by scoring seven early runs for him. Tillman may not have needed that many to once again beat the team that drafted him in the second round in 2006.
Out since Sept. 2 with right elbow discomfort, Tillman gave up just three hits and one run over six innings as the Orioles routed the Mariners 10-4 in Game 1 of a three-game series.
The Orioles improved to 83-64 with their 28th win in the last 41 games and moved to within a half-game of first place in the AL East, as the Yankees had the night off. Los Angeles was also off and the Angels fell three games back of the O's for the AL's second wild card berth.
Tillman improved to 8-2 with an ERA of 3.22 on the year. He now has those eight wins in just 12 starts this year after posting just seven wins total in 36 starts from 2009-11.
Tillman improves to 3-0 with an ERA of 0.83 in three starts this year vs. his former team and to 4-0 with an ERA of 0.98 in four career starts against the Mariners.
Nate McLouth led off the game with a solo homer and went 3-for-5 for the O's, who scored three in the first, four in the second, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Matt Wieters, who hit two homers Sunday, hit a two-run shot in the fourth tonight as he went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Over his last 34 games, Wieters has nine homers and 29 RBIs. Mark Reynolds added two RBIs for the Orioles, who saw seven different players drive in runs.
The Orioles began tonight averaging 5.46 runs per game this month, by far their best in any month this season, and they have now scored nine runs or more five times over the past 13 games.
The Orioles improved to 41-32 on the road, 38-24 since the All-Star break and 6-1 with six wins in a row in 2012 vs. Seattle.
In Game 2 of this series on Tuesday night, Wei-Yin Chen (12-9, 4.00 ERA) pitches for the Orioles against Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 3.49 ERA).