Baltimore Orioles: Chris Tillman snaps the losing streak
The Baltimore Orioles got a seven inning outing out of Chris Tillman as they defeated Los Angeles 4-1, snapping a five-game losing streak.
The Baltimore Orioles were reeling a bit after dropping four games in Seattle and the first in Los Angeles – and then Chris Tillman took to the mound. The Birds came into last night’s game not only having lost five straight, but also playing a Los Angeles team that had won ten straight games at Dodger Stadium. But as I said, then Chris Tillman took to the mound.
It had seemingly been awhile since the O’s had gotten a good outing from a starting pitcher. But they got one last night for sure. Tillman’s line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Tillman kept a very potent group of hitters at bay last night with his ability to change speeds and throw different pitches. As I said after his last start, Tillman’s at his best when he’s able to throw his off speed pitches either for strikes or to get hitters to put the ball in play. He did that last night.
LA took an early 1-0 lead on Tillman when Gonzalez smacked an RBI-double. However that run to me was more about how good the Los Angeles hitters are than anything else. Seager had gotten on base with an opposite way double, and Gonzalez hit against the shift for his RBI. In both cases had the Orioles been playing straight away, those are probably outs.
Call to the Pen
The Birds would tie the game in the second when Schoop smacked the ball into right field, alowing Jones to score. However Wieters (who was previously at first) had trouble picking the ball up, and he was thrown out at second. That goes down as a bit of a faux pas on the base paths, however keep in mind that runners are taught to play it safe if they can’t see the ball.
The game remained tied into the fifth inning, as the teams locked into a pitcher’s duel. But it was Manny Machado who ended up breaking the tie. WIth two on and nobody out in the fifth, he smacked a three-run homer, giving the Orioles a 4-1 lead. When you have the ability to do that, and your pitching is on, you’re going to win games. And while the Orioles’ pen isn’t what it’s supposed to be due to injuries, we did see it function properly last night – with Brad Brach pitching the eighth, and Zach Britton closing it out in the ninth.
Incidentally, Machado, Brach, Britton, Wieters, and Mark Trumbo were all voted to the American League All-Star team (announced yesterday). Machado is actually the starting third baseman. All of those selections are well-deserved, although the absence of Adam Jones and Chris Davis illustrates why fans shouldn’t vote in my view.
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This was a big win for the Orioles, as it gives them a shot to put a positive spin on the end of this road trip. They have an opportunity to win a game this afternoon at Dodger Stadium and take the series. However needless to say, there’s a mental edge that’s taken off when you finally win a game to snap a losing streak of five games.
I suspect that had the losing streak gone on guys would have started to push more and more, and at the end of the day they probably would have made more mistakes. That’s what pressure can do to you. Tillman’s effort last night can’t go unnoticed however, as it helped to rest the bullpen after a few taxing games. If they can get through today, they’ll head home and in fact have a day off tomorrow.
Next: Baltimore Oriole: Short outings and different pen can hurt
As I said, the series in Los Angeles will conclude this afternoon. Kevin Gausman will take to the mound for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by former Oriole Bud Norris. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.