Orioles manager Buck Showalter removed Chris Tillman today after 92 pitches. There may have been more in the tank, but Showalter decided that Tillman was done.
Tillman retired eight of the last nine Toronto batters he faced, and the rotation produced its seventh straight quality start. He allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings, with no walks or strikeouts.
It marked the sixth time in Orioles history that a starter went seven or more innings without a walk or strikeout. Jimmy Key was the last to do it on May 12, 1997 against the Athletics, when he worked 7 2/3 innings.
Jeff Ballard is the only pitcher in club history to make two such starts, on Aug. 7 and 21, 1989, when he worked seven and nine innings, respectively.
Tillman has back-to-back quality starts for the first time since April 6 and 11. He completed seven innings today for the first time since his complete-game shutout on May 16 in Kansas City.
Tillman left with a 3-1 deficit and Tommy Hunter allowed two runs in the eighth. He gave up doubles to Edwin Encarnacion and Dioner Navarro, the latter scoring a run, and walked two batters.
Hunter heard more boos as he walked off the mound with two outs in the eighth after former Oriole Steve Tolleson’s fielder’s choice grounder that increased Toronto’s lead to 5-1. In his previous outing on Friday, Hunter was charged with two runs (one earned) in 1 1/3 innings.
Today’s attendance: 46,469. The fifth sellout of the season.
Update: The Orioles split the four-game series with the Blue Jays, losing today 5-2.
Adam Jones hit his 11th home run of the season in the eighth inning to complete the scoring.
The Orioles are 35-33 this season and 4 1/2 games behind the Jays. They’re 16-17 at Camden Yards and 1-5 at home on Sundays.