Chris Tillman and Troy Patton combined on the Orioles second one-hitter of the year tonight, with Tillman doing most of the heavy lifting. After he pitched eight innings of one-hit ball to lead the O’s past Boston 9-1 tonight, Tillman was not boasting much at all about his outing.
“I thought it was okay, was good,” he said in summing it up.
It was a little better than that as the right-hander improved to 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA over his last five starts and to 9-2 with an ERA of 2.78 on the season.
He had to wait out the bottom of the first when the O’s scored six runs, but said that was worth waiting on.
“It’s tough, but I’ll take it every time,” Tillman said. “Mentally it can be tough to get back out there after it but I was able to make the adjustments pretty quick. Once we hit the middle innings I seemed to have all my stuff and was confident we could get ahead and keep throwing strikes. I can’t tell you how happy I am with (Taylor) Teagarden. First time throwing to him this year.”
Did tonight have a big game feel for Tillman?
“They all do for me. There is not one game bigger than the other,” Tillman said. “I always try to go out there, go deep in the game and give my team the best chance to win. It does (feel good to close in on a playoff berth). We are getting to the nitty gritty here but we have to focus on tomorrow’s game and not look ahead.”
Ryan Flaherty had a career-high five RBIs in the win. He hit his first career grand slam in the first inning and admitted that it felt good to do that against the Red Sox as he is a native of Portland, Maine.
“You know, for sure. Growing up, up there, it’s cool. My friends can watch the game on their network. It makes it a little better, being able to beat them for sure,” Flaherty said.
As a player that doesn’t get to start every day, Flaherty was happy to get the chance to help the team and come through like he did.
“Just trying to take advantage of it,” Flaherty said. “Had some opportunities the past few days and wasn’t able to cash in on it. Glad I could help the team win. You don’t know when the opportunities will come, so you want to do anything you can to help the team, especially this time of year.
“It seems like every night it is someone new. Whether it’s a pitcher, hitter, a play in the field, something. Just keep riding it and tomorrow nine more innings.”
Chris Davis hit a two-run homer in the first inning tonight and, at that point, had homered in three at-bats in a row.
“Feels really good,” Davis said somewhat in jest at his recent power outburst. “Really good. It is just one of those things. Guys can get locked in at the plate. I don’t expect it every day, but I’m going to embrace it. Just trying to grind out at-bats, wherever the results may fall.”
Davis is now 11-for-26 over his past seven games and is batting .314 in September. He is also just one homer away from 30 and talked about getting the chance to play every day with the Orioles.
“It means a lot. That is all I’ve asked for is the opportunity to play every day. Buck stuck with me and it means a lot to be part of this team,” Davis said.
Davis was asked about the Orioles having power up and down their lineup.
“It’s exciting. It gives us a lot of confidence knowing we can get back in a game with a couple of swings,” Davis said. “I think probably the best at-bat of the night was seeing Jim Thome hit a double and leg it out. We’re having a good time and we enjoy being out there and playing together.”