Tillman looking for smooth start after rocky first inning (O’s down 3-1)

Chris Tillman has retired six consecutive Toronto batters this afternoon and eight of the last nine.

Are his troubles in the past?

They’re still in his rear-view mirror, another run scoring against him in the first inning. That’s 15 runs in the opening frame in his 15 starts this season.

Jose Reyes led off with a single and scored with one out on Jose Bautista’s double to right-center field. Three batters into the game and Tillman already was behind 1-0.

Dioner Navarro led off the second with a double, but Tillman retired the next three batters to perhaps settle into a groove.

Tillman has thrown 22, 14 and nine pitches in three innings. I’ll save you the math. That’s 45 pitches.

Before today, Tillman had registered a 9.69 ERA in the first two innings - allowing 28 earned runs in 26 innings - and a 2.47 ERA after the second.

Nelson Cruz singled to lead off the bottom of the second inning. He’s still looking for his first home run since June 3 in Texas.

J.J. Hardy led off the third with a double. He’s still looking for his first home run since Sept. 5, 2013.

Jonathan Schoop reached on an infield hit and both runners moved up on Nick Hundley’s fly ball to deep center field. But Nick Markakis and Manny Machado struck out to leave the Orioles 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position today and 12-for-59 in 10 games on this homestand.

Update: Tillman allowed another run in the fourth on Edwin Encarnacion’s leadoff double and Navarro’s one-out single.

Tillman has thrown 61 pitches through the fourth. Toronto is 2-for-9 with RISP but continues to lead.

Update II: The Blue Jays increased their lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Anthony Gose’s single, Jose Reyes’ double and Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.

Tillman has thrown 72 pitches in five innings, including 50 for strikes. He’s allowed three runs and seven hits, with no walks or strikeouts.

Update III: There goes J.A. Happ’s shutout.

Adam Jones doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on Cruz’s single.

Cruz, who has 56 RBIs, tied his season-high with three hits today. He hadn’t driven in a run since June 3.

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