PITTSBURGH — After throwing 117 pitches and notching his first complete-game shutout Friday in Kansas City, Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman said he wasn’t fatigued Wednesday night in the Orioles’ 9-8 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tillman said he had no problem with a groin that had bothered him earlier this month or any physical malady.
No excuses, he said. He was just bad.
“Coming off a good [start], tried to carry it over and kind of get in rhythm here,” said Tillman, who allowed eight runs (six earned) and recorded just three outs Wednesday. “But it was tough. I tried to make the adjustments, but it just wasn’t coming to me.”
Tillman couldn’t locate his fastball on either side of the plate or figure out what he was doing wrong. Ultimately, Orioles Manager Buck Showalter had to mercifully walk onto the mound in the bottom of the second to remove him.
“He has struggled before early and got back in sync and gave us some strong innings,” Showalter said, “but it never really came to him tonight.”
Despite Tillman allowing four runs in both the first and second, the Orioles (23-21) twice battled back. They scored six runs in the top of the second to take the lead and then put up two more in the seventh to tie it at 8.
But Orioles reliever Ryan Webb allowed a game-clinching RBI single to catcher Tony Sanchez in the seventh and Pittsburgh relievers Tony Watson and Mark Melancon pitched perfect innings to prevent the Pirates (19-26) from being swept in the two-game series at PNC Park.
— Baltimore Sun