O’s game blog: Chris Tillman pitches Texas series opener

The Orioles welcome the Texas Rangers to Oriole Park tonight as their 10-game homestand to start the second half continues. It began with three losses to the Chicago Cubs by a 27-11 score. The Cubs won 8-0 Sunday to complete the sweep.

The Orioles starting pitchers combined to pitch just 11 1/3 innings in that series allowing 27 hits and 21 runs and they gave up seven home runs. The Orioles have gone 10 games without a quality start. Their 6.02 starting rotation ERA for the year is easily last in the American League. No other team has an ERA over 5.00 with the Chicago White Sox next to last at 4.97.

chris-tillman-white-follow-through-Sidebar.jpgRight-hander Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.90 ERA) tonight makes his 12th start and his first for the Orioles since allowing two runs in five innings June 30 versus Tampa Bay. He went on paternity leave and has not pitched in a game since, so he is working on 16 day’s rest.

In five starts since June 10, Tillman is 0-2 with an ERA of 11.25. He has an ERA of 12.27 in the first innings of his starts, allowing five of his 11 home runs then and opponents are batting .408 off him in the opening frame. Lefty batters are hitting .366 versus Tillman and right-handed batters are hitting .360.

In seven career starts against Texas, Tillman is 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.475 WHIP.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-7, 3.54 ERA) will make his 15th start for Texas. In his last game on July 5 he went seven innings against Boston and gave up three hits and two unearned runs on 110 pitches. He had allowed 16 hits and nine runs in nine innings his two previous starts.

Cashner has pitched well early in his starts with a first-inning ERA of 1.29 and a second-inning ERA of 1.93. In eight road starts he is 2-5 with a 4.37 ERA.

The Orioles are 42-49 and have lost eight of 10 and 23 of their last 34 games. They have also lost seven of the last eight at home where they are 25-19.

Texas is 45-46 and just won two of three at Kansas City. The Rangers were 13-20 on May 8 but are 32-26 since that time. They are 20-26 in road games.

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