A few notes and quotes after the Orioles’ latest win

Chris Tillman’s streak lives. He didn’t have his best game or stuff by any stretch last night, but he has now recorded 18 straight games allowing three earned runs or fewer.

Tillman is is 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA during this stretch that began June 10. Yeah, pretty impressive run of pitching.

Tillman’s streak is now tied for fourth-longest in Orioles history. From last night’s “O’s Xtra,” here is the list of the longest such streaks by an Oriole:
* Dave McNally, 25 straight from May 19-Sept. 8, 1968
* Steve Barber, 20 straight from Aug. 17, 1965 to June 4, 1966
* Milt Pappas, 19 straight from April 14-July 21, 1965
* Steve Barber, 18 straight from June 12, 1966 to May 14, 1967

cruz-pointing-up-gray-back-sidebar.jpgCruz on MLB Network: O’s slugger Nelson Cruz was a guest on the “MLB Now” show Tuesday on MLB Network. He was asked about Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

“He let’s you play, let’s you be yourself, wants you to bring what you can bring to the table. He is one of those managers that let’s you play. He keeps everybody loose and keeps everybody fresh,” Cruz said.

With his next homer Cruz will become the sixth Oriole to hit 40 or more in one season.

There is a school of thought that when the Orioles face a lesser-known pitcher or a pitcher for the first time, they struggle. But MASN’s Jim Hunter pointed out last night that the Orioles picked up yet another win Tuesday night against a pitcher, Boston’s Anthony Ranaudo, that they had not faced before.

The Orioles are now 18-12 this season when they face a pitcher for the first time.

Alejandro De Aza, who hit two homers last night.], has now hit safely in all five games he’s played as an Oriole. He picked up his first three extra-base hits last night, adding a double. He is now 8-for-20 as an Oriole.

I guess most O’s fans noticed Nick Markakis making more difficult plays in right field last night. Markakis made a nice running catch near the foul line on a ball Mookie Betts hit in the first inning. He robbed Mike Napoli later on a sinking liner in right field.

Some of the defensive metrics have not been high on Markakis over the years apparently. But Markakis seemingly makes at least one tough catch almost nightly. I think most of Birdland sure appreciates him on defense, even if UZR doesn’t.

Joseph on the vets: Showalter has been talking in recent days about the O’s players and their mature approach to having a big lead atop the American League East. They have not looked too far ahead, have not started talking about the playoffs and still have their foot on the gas pedal.

Soon, they can begin to coast, but not quite yet. It is indeed a mature approach and catcher Caleb Joseph told me during the last homestand that the team leaders have shown the way.

“It’s impressive how the leaders on this team continue to lead, guys who have been there and experienced this type of atmosphere,” he said. “There are a lot of guys in here that have played meaningful games in September, even October.

“They know the drill and as a young guy, if they are not talking about it, well you’re not talking about it. If they are doing this, you are going to do that. That is what we are trying to do. Follow the guys that have been there.

“No matter what, whether you look ahead, back or whatever, if you continue to win, you control your own destiny.”

It’s Wei-Yin Chen (14-4, 3.69 ERA) on the mound against right-hander Brandon Workman (1-8, 4.90 ERA) today at Fenway Park as the Orioles look for their first three-game sweep in Boston since May 4-6, 2012.

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