The Orioles are still trying to put it all together and match up strong starting pitching with solid hitting.
Today was another day with half the equation. While Chris Tillman produced the rotation’s seventh straight quality start, the bats were mostly quiet in a 5-2 loss to Toronto in front of 46,469, the fifth sellout of 2014.
The Orioles split this four-game series with first-place Toronto and leave it right where they started at 4 1/2 games out.
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, who had an ERA of 6.11 over his past three starts, gave up just one run over six innings plus one batter to get the victory.
The Orioles scored just nine runs in this series, 15 over the last six games and 29 in 10 games during a 5-5 homestand.
Toronto scored one run at a time against Tillman today. Jose Bautista’s RBI double made it 1-0 in the first. Dioner Navarro singled in a run in the fourth and a Melky Cabrera sac fly an inning later made it 3-0.
Tillman allowed eight hits and the three runs over seven innings, throwing 92 pitches. He is 5-4 with an ERA of 4.82. Toronto added to its lead, scoring two runs off Tommy Hunter in the eighth.
Tillman did not have a walk or a strikeout this afternoon. This was just the sixth start in team history of seven or more innings without a walk or strikeout. The last time it happened was with Jimmy Key on May 12, 1997 going 7 2/3 frames against Oakland.
During the run of seven consecutive quality starts, O’s starters have pitched to an ERA of 1.54, allowing eight earned runs in 46 2/3 innings.
Nelson Cruz, who went 3-for-3, singled in a run in the sixth for the Orioles. Adam Jones doubled and hit his 11th homer in the eighth. But the Orioles scored three runs or less for the third game in a row and sixth time on this homestand.
Now 35-33 for the season, the Orioles hit the road for a six-game trip to Tampa Bay and New York. On Monday night, Wei-Yin Chen (7-2, 3.76 ERA) faces the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi (2-7, 4.85 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.