Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles too strong for New York Yankees

By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- With the stomach virus headed toward a departure from the clubhouse, the Baltimore Orioles needed a sense of normalcy.

Chris Tillman was the right pitcher on the mound to restore some order.


Tillman pitched seven sharp innings and became the second 14-game winner in the major leagues on Thursday as Baltimore snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.

"I just knew that we needed to go and get a win today and go home with a win," Tillman said.

Baltimore's issues with stomach viruses began during the All-Star break began when Zach Britton and Matt Wieters caught it during the All-Star break. It moved on to Chris Davis and by Wednesday had inflicted Manny Machado and manager Buck Showalter.


The Orioles fell out of first place for the first time since June 4 when Tillman took the mound. With Davis and Machado returning to the lineup and Showalter returning to the dugout, Tillman won his fourth straight start and joined Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale on the exclusive list by allowing one run and four hits.

"I was real smart with Chris Tillman pitching," Showalter said. "That was really easy. I know I'm living right when they let him pitch that game."

Tillman made things relatively stress-free by retiring the final seven hitters he faced and 16 of the final 17. He struck out seven, got double plays in the first two innings and eight other grounders.

"That's as good a four-pitch mix he's had," Showalter said. "He's had some good ones too but I can tell he was really trying to give us what we needed today and it was good to get a couple of runs early to give him some margin for error. It's impressive."

Pitching to Caleb Joseph for the first time while Wieters recovered from a sore right foot, Tillman improved to 7-0 in 10 starts against the AL East. He also managed to avoid catching the stomach virus by taking extra precautions such as constantly washing his hands.


"This deal isn't a good deal," Tillman said. "I've seen it. It doesn't look like fun. I tried to stay away from it as much as I can."

Tillman allowed five of the first nine hitters but only gave up an RBI single to Starlin Castro and cruised from there.

"He did great," Joseph said. "That was fun and exciting to be a part of. He made a lot of pitches to a lot of quadrants. He really pitched to the real definition of pitching. He's been kind of our stopper the whole season and he proved that again today."

He had a 2-0 lead as Machado and Davis helped prolong the first inning against CC Sabathia (5-8). Machado had a one-out single and Davis loaded the bases by drawing a walk.

Moments later, Machado scored the second run on J.J. Hardy's single that deflected off the glove of shortstop Didi Gregorius. The Orioles added two more in the seventh when Jonathan Schoop lined a two-run double.

Brad Brach pitched a scoreless eighth and Zach Britton pitched a hitless ninth for his 30th save.

Sabathia was lifted after Schoop's hit and allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is 0-4 in his last six starts.


"I thought he gave a gritty performance today," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's unfortunate. He did not give up a lot of hard hit balls and you look up there's four runs on the board."

The Yankees (48-47) fell to 4-3 on their 10-game homestand and were unable to go a season-high three games over .500 with San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner looming Friday.

"I think you have to look at you took three out of four from a good Baltimore team and you have to move on," Girardi said. "San Francisco's going to be no easy task. You can't have a letdown because you lost today.

NOTES: Showalter returned after missing Wednesday's game with a stomach virus. Bullpen coach Dom Chiti was in the dugout for the second straight day while pitching coach Dave Wallace (personal) was away from the team. ... The Yankees recalled RHP Chad Green from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, fueling speculation he would start in place of RHP Masahiro Tanaka. Manager Joe Girardi said Green was with the team to provide distance since RHPs Dellin Betances and Anthony Swarzak were unavailable. ... The Yankees optioned RHP Nick Goody to Triple-A to get Green on the roster. ... Baltimore CF Adam Jones (back spasms), OF Joey Rickard (right thumb) and Wieters (sore right foot) were not in the starting lineup. ... New York 3B Chase Headley (personal) was not in the starting lineup for the second straight day but entered as a pinch hitter. After the game, Headley said his four-year-old son experienced complications from a procedure during the All-Star break. "He's doing better," Headley said. "I don't remember a whole lot days in my life that were worse. ... Baltimore announced RHP Vance Worley will start Sunday against the Cleveland Indians.


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