O’s game blog: Orioles are 9-2 in Chris Tillman’s 2016 starts

After splitting a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles’ 10-game homestand continues tonight as they host the New York Yankees for a weekend series.

On the mound this evening, it is a matchup of right-handed pitchers. Chris Tillman (7-1, 2.92 ERA) will make his 12th start of the season, facing Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 3.71 ERA).

chris-tillman-white-follow-through-Sidebar.jpgTillman’s run of seven consecutive quality starts ended Sunday at Cleveland when he allowed four runs over six innings. The Orioles did win that game and improved to 9-2 in Tillman’s starts this season. His current rate of allowing 6.4 hits per every nine innings with 8.5 strikeouts per nine would both be career bests. Tillman ranks 10th in the American League in ERA and is tied for third in wins.

Tillman gave up just three homers over his first 10 starts and then gave up three in that last start. O’s pitchers have yielded the longball often lately. They gave up 13 homers in four games versus Boston and have allowed 23 in the last nine games, giving up two or more seven times in the last nine games.

Tillman is 1-0 versus the Yankees in 2016. On May 3, he went seven innings and 110 pitches, allowing five hits and one run. In 17 career starts against New York, Tillman is 7-6 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.592 WHIP.

The 26-year-old Eovaldi has an ERA of 1.00 over his last three starts, giving up just nine hits over 18 innings. He has won a career-high five straight starts. Over his past seven starts, he is 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA. In that stretch, he has given up 12 walks with 35 strikeouts over 43 innings.

Last year, Eovaldi was the hardest-throwing starter in the AL with a fastball velocity of 96.7 mph, according to FanGraphs. In three career starts against Baltimore, he is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and has not faced the O’s this year.

The Orioles are 23-14 against the Yankees since June 21, 2014 and they are 15-4 in their last 19 home games versus New York. They took two of three over the Yankees at Camden Yards in early May. The Yankees bring a 25-28 record into this series, but they have lost six of nine since a six-game winning streak. Over a longer stretch, New York is 16-11 in its last 27 games.

Farm notes: Right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne has been pitching well recently at Triple-A Norfolk. He logged his third quality start over his last four outings last night and is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA with 18 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings in that stretch.

The Tides’ Dariel Alvarez tied a career high with five hits yesterday, going 5-for-6 with a walk and two doubles. He last registered five hits on April 25, 2014 with Double-A Bowie. Norfolk first baseman Trey Mancini extended his hitting streak to five games Thursday, batting .429/.500/.571 (9-for-21) with three walks, a home run, four runs scored, three RBIs and four multi-hit efforts in that span. Mancini has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting .351 at 13-for-37.

Henry Urrutia had the only hit last night for the Bowie Baysox, going 1-for-4 with a double. He has hit safely in six straight games, batting .400/.423/.440 (10-for-25) with a walk, double, four runs scored and one RBI.

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