For the second straight night in this series, an O’s starting pitcher failed to get one out in the sixth inning. Tonight, Chris Tillman gave up six hits and four runs over five innings as Tampa Bay beat the Orioles 6-2.
“It’s disappointing,” Tillman said of not getting deeper in the game. “I have some things to work on right now and the biggest thing is strike one. Maybe five or six guys tonight, I was able to get strike one.
“It’s huge, we need to start giving the bullpen a break. I’ll speak for myself. Need to get outs earlier in the counts. The bullpen guys have been picking us up big time, it’s our turn to get things going.”
Tillman falls to 0-1 with an ERA of 7.07 through three starts.
“The main issue was getting strike one. It is pretty evident when you are working behind the whole game. You want to get our offense back in the dugout as soon as possible and I struggled to do that,” Tillman said after getting a first-pitch strike on just six of 22 batters.
He gave up solo homers in the first two innings as Tampa Bay picked up an early 2-0 lead.
“The one to Kelly (Johnson) was a bad pitch. I fell behind. The one to Shelley Duncan, it was a cutter and when that guy gets (his arms) extended, that is his best chance. He was able to on that pitch,” Tillman said.
Nate McLouth was asked about Tampa starter Matt Moore, who improved to 3-0 allowing just two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
“His walks were down from his previous starts that we had seen and he was able to get leadoff hitters out for the most part. He threw nice breaking pitches and effective changeups to right-handed hitters. We just didn’t get it done,” McLouth said.
Adam Jones supplied all the O’s offense with one swing as he hit a two-run homer in the last of the third to tie the game 2-2. But then he couldn’t keep a hit off the bat of James Loney in front of him in the top of the fourth as it went for a two-run double and 4-2 lead for Tampa Bay.
“The ball got by me,” Jones said. “I went after it aggressive, I can’t be mad at myself. Realized that I wasn’t going to get it off the bat. It wasn’t hit as hard as I thought. Tried to keep it in front of me, but didn’t.
“He was good,” Jones said of Moore and his outing. “He’s not a prospect anymore. He’s good for a reason. They needed a big start out of him and they got it. They just beat us tonight, we didn’t beat ourselves.”
Now the Orioles face reigning Cy Young winner David Price to wrap up this series Thursday night. Price gave up just one run to the Orioles in 22 1/3 inning last season and got a no-decision on opening night as the Orioles beat Tampa Bay. In that game, Price gave up two runs over six innings.
“We didn’t beat Price,” Jones said. “We didn’t give him the L (the loss). We need to give him the L. The thing about our division is we see each other a lot. He knows us. We know him. Now it’s a matter of a game of chess tomorrow. Who will get the better of the other person.”