Chris Tillman, pitching like an ace today, gave the Orioles a huge effort on the mound. The Orioles backed him with solid defense and a few clutch at-bats to post a 3-1 win over the Tigers this afternoon.
The O’s ended their four-game losing streak and head to New York with a 2-4 record.
Tillman gave a struggling rotation a great outing today. He entered the ninth with a 3-1 lead and came two outs short of his second career complete game. After a one-out double by Victor Martinez, Tommy Hunter came on. Hunter fanned Austin Jackson and got Tyler Collins to ground out to post his second save.
Tillman gave up just five hits and the one run over 8 1/3 innings, throwing 113 pitches. He walked one, fanned five and is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.35 through two starts.
Since the start of the 2012 season, the Orioles are 33-17 when Tillman starts. That is a .660 winning percentage.
With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth, Nick Markakis tripled to right with one out. Adam Jones then battled Justin Verlander to a 2-2 count and hit a fly ball to deep left. It was caught for an out, but the sac fly gave Jones his second RBI of the year and the Orioles a big 2-1 lead.
The O’s pinned a loss on Verlander for just the second time in his 14 career starts against them. He is now 8-2 against Baltimore.
Matt Wieters hit a solo homer to left off Al Alburquerque in the ninth. His first homer of the year provided a huge insurance run. It was the first homer by an Oriole other than Nelson Cruz this season.
The Tigers scored first in the last of the fourth. After Tillman had retired the first 10 batters, Torii Hunter hit a solo homer to left for a 1-0 lead. Hunter had a great series, going 6-for-12 with three homers and seven RBIs.
Hunter homered in each game of this series, becoming the first to homer in three straight games against the Orioles since Michael Morse from April 30-Aug. 2, 2012.
The Orioles tied it in the sixth against Verlander on doubles by Jones and Cruz. For Cruz, it was his fourth RBI of the season.
The Orioles face the Yankees Monday in New York’s home opener at 1:05 p.m. with Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1, 6.00 ERA) facing Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 3.00).