Koji’s latest (& 2 Tillman updates)

Making his third appearance since coming off the disabled list, Koji Uehara surrendered two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase Detroit’s lead to 10-7.

Yes, they’re only through the fifth inning at Comerica Park. And the pace actually increased for a short time.

Uehara gave up three hits, including Ramon Santiago’s bunt single to open the inning. Austin Jackson followed with a triple, and he later scored on Magglio Ordonez’s single.

Uehara also issued a walk before striking out Carlos Guillen with his 21st pitch to end the inning. His fastball regularly sat in the 87-88 mph range, though he also touched 90.

In three games since returning to the Orioles, Uehara has allowed three runs and seven hits in three innings to increase his ERA to 4.50.

Reliever Frank Mata was a candidate to be optioned tomorrow when the Orioles activate outfielder Felix Pie, but they might need the extra bullpen arm, especially with Mark Hendrickson going three innings today and interim manager Juan Samuel having to cover at least three more innings.

Third baseman Josh Bell becomes a more likely candidate.

Down on the farm, Chris Tillman has allowed one Charlotte baserunner through five innings, on a single. He’s struck out four and thrown 36 of 55 pitches for strikes.

Rhyne Hughes homered again, giving him eight on the season. First baseman Nolan Reimold is 2-for-3 with a stolen base.

Joey Gathright replaced Jeff Salazar in left field in the top of the sixth inning. Don’t know why.

Update II: Tillman has allowed one hit and walked a batter through seven scoreless innings. He’s thrown 74 pitches, 48 for strikes.

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