Notes and quotes from a win in the K.C. series finale

After the third Chris Tillman start of two innings or less this season, last night, right-hander Miguel Castro came to the rescue of the Orioles pitching staff.

Castro came in with the Orioles down 6-3 in the second inning and pitched long enough and well enough for the Orioles to score eight unanswered runs and win 11-6 to take the series over Kansas City.

sidebar-Miguel-Castro-black.jpgCastro pitched 4 2/3 innings, the second longest outing of his career, and gave up no runs on four hits on 65 pitches.

"I just went out there to compete and be aggressive," Castro said through team interpreter Ramón Alarcón. "Looked to throw a strike on my first pitch and stay ahead of the hitters. I was confident in all of my pitches and just taking it one hitter at a time."

Castro got the win and is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.55. His home ERA is 0.79 in six games. Pitching right after Tillman's latest bad outing, he was asked an obvious question. Would he like to get a chance to start?

Castro was smart enough not to touch that one.

"Right now, I'm not thinking about something like that. I'm just thinking to help my team, go out there and compete, help them however they see fit," he said.

Meanwhile Tillman is now 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA in seven starts. His ERA in the first inning is 19.29. Over his past two starts he has pitched a total of 2 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and 13 runs.

There would seem to be virtually nothing for Tillman to hang his hat on for a turnaround at this point and the bigger remaining question is why have the Orioles continued to send him out there?

Once the top man in the rotation for O's playoff teams, Tillman has shown these last two seasons that whatever reasons there may be for his performance regressing, he just can't get it turned. The Orioles have right-hander David Hess pitching well at Triple-A and it's time they take a look at him.

In the Kansas City series, the Orioles bullpen pitched 19 2/3 innings and the starters went just 7 1/3 with Tillman and Dylan Bundy combining to get four outs. O's pitchers gave up 24 runs and seven homers the last three games, but thanks to an offense showing signs of life, the Orioles won two of three.

Speaking of that offense: The Orioles team average was .339 in the K.C. series as they scored 23 runs on 37 hits. The Orioles hit seven homers and went 11-for-24 (.458) with runners in scoring position. The last two days they went 9-for-14 (.643) with RISP after hitting .173 in such instances the previous 15 games.

Said Trey Mancini: "Winning a series is always big. Obviously, we've got a long way to go. We know that. You just take it a day at a time and try to string some wins together and try and look up and maybe be in a decent spot. But you can't think too far in the future. You've just got to try and win a game that day."

The Orioles scored a season-high in runs and posted 10 or more for the first time since plating 16 on Aug. 25, 2017 at Boston. That was 71 games ago.

Manny Machado ended a 10-game homerless drought, his longest of the year, and hit homer No. 10 in the first inning. He has 10 multi-RBI games, no other Oriole has more than five. He is batting .377 with seven homers versus right-handed pitching and he's hitting .464 (13-for-28) with runners in scoring position.

That was impressive: Pitching the seventh and eighth last night, lefty Tanner Scott had swing and miss stuff. He fanned four in those two frames. He threw 31 pitches and got eight swings and misses - four on his slider and four on his fastball, which averaged 97.1 mph and his fastest pitch was registered at 98.6 mph by Statcast.

In four big league games, Scott has an ERA of 4.05. Over 6 2/3 he has allowed seven hits and three runs with one walk and nine strikeouts. He has thrown 10 scoreless innings over eight games for Triple-A Norfolk.

On the farm last night, third baseman Ryan Mountcastle made his season debut for Double-A Bowie and he went 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI in Bowie's win. Austin Hays added a two-run homer. In Norfolk's loss to Durham, third baseman Drew Dosch had two hits and is batting .304 and Yefry Ramirez allowed two runs over 6 2/3 and fanned eight.

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