Juan for the road

I passed Andy MacPhail on the stairs as I returned to the press box. He wasn’t waiting in the manager’s office. That’s probably a good sign.

Wait, we’re not doing that anymore. Never mind.

The Orioles were shut out for the fifth time this season. It only seems like 15.

They’ve tallied eight runs in their last seven games. It only seems like one.

They’ve been blanked or held to one run six times in the last nine games. Clay Buchholz became the fourth pitcher to throw a complete game against them, joining Felix Hernandez, Jake Westbrook and Ricky Romero.

Every Boston starter reached base and scored.

The Orioles allowed at least 10 hits in a game for the 27th time. They’re 4-23 in those games. They surrendered at least 10 runs for the second time.

Juan Samuel talks with the media after his first game as the O’s manager

“Well, we got the first one out of the way for me,” interim manager Juan Samuel said. “I saw a few good things. I saw some guys running hard. I also saw a good club. Takes some pitches that we couldn’t get over on Tillman, and basically hit his fastball. He was one pitch away from getting out of that first inning. But against a good club, you’re going to have to make pitches in key situations and bear down and make sure you get the ball down. I think he was up with his fastball, also.”

Samuel said he was “very relaxed” in his managerial debut.

“It was the same as when I was coaching third base,” he said. “The only thing is, when we’re on offense, I was in the dugout. I didn’t feel any pressure at all. I was just relaxed and letting the guys go out and play.”

Tillman said he felt great physically. “Pitch-wise,” he added, “not so good.”

“I didn’t locate very well. When I did get ahead of guys 0-2, I’d fall right back behind them and get in those fastball counts. When I did fall behind hitters the other way, all the hitters were sitting on that fastball. And more times than not they are going to hit it.”

You wonder if the day’s distractions contributed to Tillman’s poor performance. Maybe that’s just a convenient excuse.

“There was a lot going on in the clubhouse today. Definitely,” he said. “Mentally, I try to keep myself there and keep myself prepared for the game. But like I said, it was tough. I think especially getting ready for the game and getting prepared, being a young guy, not knowing how to handle it. But I felt great other than falling behind and not locating.”

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