The Orioles were 18-1 when leading after eight innings this year. Make that 18-2.
Jim Johnson’s consecutive saves streak ended at 35 tonight when San Diego scored twice off him in the top of the ninth to stun the Orioles 3-2 at Camden Yards.
Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera came up with RBI singles in the ninth off Johnson, who suffered his first blown save last July 27. He was 15-for-15 this year.
The loss spoiled another good outing by Chris Tillman. He pitched seven strong innings giving up just four hits and one run. He walked two and fanned seven, throwing 112 pitches, 75 for strikes.
Tillman has now pitched to an ERA of 1.87 over his last five starts. He has given up two earned runs or fewer four times in that stretch and has recorded five consecutive quality starts.
It looked like Steve Pearce would be in a co-starring role with Tillman when he singled in the go-ahead run in the last of the eighth as the Orioles took a 2-1 lead.
With one out in a 1-1 tie in the eighth, Ryan Flaherty drew a walk against San Diego starter Andrew Cashner and Alexi Casilla came in to pinch run. Casilla stole second and went to third on catcher Nick Hundley’s throwing error. Pearce then singled to left for his seventh RBI.
Since beginning the season 0-for-13, Pearce is 10-for-27 (.370) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBIs.
Flaherty earlier hit his second homer of the year in the third, an inning after Carlos Quentin had homered to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.
The Orioles fall to 9-7 at home, 2-2 against the National League and 23-16 overall. They had been 5-0 this season in series opening games at home. A win would have moved the Orioles a season-high nine games over the .500 mark.
The teams will wrap up this two-game series Wednesday afternoon here at 12:35 p.m.