After their starting pitchers had worked a total of 20 1/3 innings over the last four games, the Orioles were hoping Chris Tillman could get them a deep outing in the series opener at Anaheim against the Angels - and he delivered.
Pitching near his Fountain Valley, Calif., home, Tillman gave up just three singles over eight shutout innings as the O’s beat Los Angeles 5-1 to improve to 5-3 on this road trip.
Tillman gave up two walks and a single in the first, but Nick Markakis threw Mike Trout out at the plate standing up to end the inning. Tillman was at 43 pitches over the first two innings, but needed 12 or fewer over the next five innings and he retired 20 of the last 21 batters he faced.
Tillman improves to 2-1 with an ERA of 3.63. This was the second eight-inning outing of the season by an O’s starter after Wei-Yin Chen went eight innings at Oakland over the weekend. Tillman walked two, fanned three and retired the side in order in five of his eight innings.
Tillman threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of 28 hitters and threw 114 pitches overall, 73 for strikes. The O’s shutout bid ended with an Albert Pujols ninth-inning solo homer off Jim Johnson.
After pitching to an ERA of 7.07 over his first three starts, Tillman has pitched to an ERA of 1.31 over his past three, allowing just three earned runs over 20 2/3.
Tillman is 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA in his career against AL West opponents.
For the Orioles, Manny Machado had an RBI single in the third, Chris Davis an RBI double in the sixth and Markakis an RBI double in the seventh. Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the ninth that went off the glove of Mike Trout near the wall and then over it.
The Orioles have won for the 10th time in 15 games to move to 17-12 overall. Los Angeles has lost five of its last six to fall to 10-18.