Chris Tillman with an eight-inning gem as O’s tame Tigers

Detroit’s Comerica Park was the scene of a dramatic pitcher’s duel tonight. David Price was very good, but the Orioles’ Chris Tillman was better.

Tillman gave up a single to Ian Kinsler to lead off the game and then allowed no runs or hits after that, pitching the Orioles to a 3-0 win over Detroit. Tillman retired the last 23 batters he faced after issuing a one-out walk in the first.

Tillman fanned eight with just the one walk over eight very strong innings, throwing 105 pitches, 70 for strikes, as he improved to 7-7 with an ERA of 4.96. Tillman is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.40 over his last four starts and is 5-0 over his past eight starts.

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He shut down a Detroit team that had scored 74 runs in 13 games in July and was averaging 4.6 runs per game with a batting average of .290 at home.

Zach Britton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 24th save and complete the one-hit shutout. It was the Orioles’ seventh shutout of 2015. Tillman and Britton combined to retire the last 26 batters.

Caleb Joseph’s two-out, two-run single to center in the ninth gave the Orioles breathing room, turning a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 edge. It scored J.J. Hardy, who singled, and Jonathan Schoop, who doubled, and was the Orioles’ first hit tonight with a runner in scoring position after they were 0-for-5.

With one out in the third, Manny Machado broke the scoreless tie. He hit a 434-foot homer to left for the 1-0 lead on 1-1 pitch from Price. It was Machado’s 20th homer of the year and his ninth over his past 27 games. He took over the team homer lead from Chris Davis and has topped his previous career high (14 in 2013) now by six homers.

Through the first five innings tonight, the Orioles did not get a single runner in scoring position against Price, who fanned 10 over the first four innings. But in the sixth, Adam Jones doubled off the top of the left-field wall to start the inning. He reached third on an error. But, in that one inning, the O’s went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Price falls to 9-3 with an ERA of 2.32 after allowing the one run and six hits in seven innings. He walked one, fanned 12 and threw 113 pitches. It’s the 28th time in his career and third this year where he fanned 10 or more.

The Orioles had lost six of seven and 11 of 14 before this win as they improve to 45-45 and move to within four games of first-place New York.

In Sunday’s series finale, Miguel Gonzalez (7-6, 4.24 ERA) pitches against right-hander Justin Verlander (0-2, 5.34 ERA) at 1:08 p.m.

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