Chris Tillman pitched a gem and the Baltimore Orioles scored just enough runs as they defeated Tampa 2-1.
The strength of the Baltimore Orioles was suposed to be the bats – and perhaps Chris Tillman. We saw Tillman’s skills last night, however to this point Oriole bats have been quiet in the second half. Part of that may be due to playing in sterile Tropicana Field, although several Oriole hitters do in fact hit well there. But at the end of the day they’ve done enough to win the first two games of the series.
Tillman was masterful in how he shut down Tampa hitters last night, continuing his most recent trend from the first half. Tillman’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K. If you can’t win when your starter puts up numbers like that, you might have an issue. Luckily the Orioles were able to take advantage of Tillman’s outing – albeit barely.
J.J. Hardy‘s two-run homer in the second inning gave the O’s a 2-0 lead. At the time, you couldn’t have predicted that the Birds wouldn’t put any further runs on the board. In fact if you had, I probably would have assumed that they lost. But at the end of the day, those two runs stood up for the O’s for the entire evening.
Call to the Pen
Tampa drew to within one in the last of the fourth on Souza’s RBI-single. And that was your ballgame. The O’s used Brach in the eighth inning and Britton in the ninth, and they sucessfully closed out a 2-1 win. They’re now 2-0 in the second half, and they’ve taken the first two games of this three-game set with Tampa.
Today is actually a special day in Birdland, as the Orioles announced that Dylan Bundy will make his first career start for the organization (at the big league level). Bundy of course was the Orioles’ top pick in the first round of the 2011 draft, although to this point has been used in the bullpen (in the big leagues). The Birds obviously have always viewed him as a starter, and today that dream will be realized.
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The fact that Bundy has been in the big leagues for awhile might take a bit of the luster off of the fact that he’s starting today for the first time. But your first big league start is still your first big league start. It’s unclear if this is a spot start or if Bundy is in the rotation to stay. But we do know that he’s starting today.
And in fact he’ll be starting this afternoon as the O’s go for a three-game sweep of Tampa. He’ll be opposed on the mound by Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.