You wouldn't think a pitcher that has worked to an ERA of 1.33 over his last four starts would be in danger of losing his rotation spot, but that may be the case for Chris Tillman.
The positive results with that ERA have come at a time when he keeps failing to show pitch efficiency and struggles to get deep in games.
Tillman's last four starts:
May 11 vs. Seattle: 6 IP, 1 ER, 112 pitches.
May 16 at Boston: 5 IP, 0 runs, 88 pitches.
May 22 vs. Washington: 5 IP, 1 ER, 97 pitches.
May 27 at Oakland: 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 102 pitches.
It may not be a coincidence that Brian Matusz is pitching on the same day right now as Tillman and could re-enter the Orioles' rotation next Wednesday.
Tillman's season ERA is down to 4.69 from 7.30 where it was in mid April. But you have to wonder if the inability to get deeper in games could cause him to lose his rotation spot at a time when his ERA is on the decline.
Here are some other notes coming out of Friday's game:
* The Orioles had six hits and all were singles. It was just the fourth time on the year they failed to pick up an extra-base hit. It also happened April 15 at Cleveland, May 5 at Kansas City and May 12 versus Seattle.
* The game ended a streak of 12 straight games where the Orioles had at least one double and five straight games with at least one homer. The O's had 31 doubles over those 12 games.
* The Orioles' bullpen had allowed no runs over the previous 15 innings and just one run over 17 innings coming into the game. But Alfredo Simon and Mike Gonzalez gave up four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
* The Orioles went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position after batting .400 with RISP (12-for-30) in the Kansas City series.
* Nick Markakis extended his batting streak to 12 games with a third-inning single. He is batting .360 (18-for-50) during the streak.
* Markakis now has hit safely in 157 consecutive series since going hitless against Tampa in a series in May of 2008. It is baseball's longest streak since Ichiro Suzuki had at least one hit in 160 straight series for Seattle between 2000 and 2004.
* Vladimir Guerrero extended his own batting streak to 12 games, going 1-for-3. He is hitting .377 (20-for-53) with one homer and eight RBIs during his streak. Markakis and Guerrero have now tied Brian Roberts for the longest hitting streak this season by an Oriole. Roberts hit in 12 straight from April 13-26.