Making a spot start in the Orioles’ series finale against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday afternoon, Tillman made the most of the opportunity, throwing the best game of his major league career as the Orioles won, 4-2, in front of an announced crowd of 21,982 on the Fourth of July at Safeco Field.
“It’s a good start,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “We kind of got to the point where we needed a little fresh gunpowder and [Tillman] provided it.”
The win gave the Orioles (44-37) their first series win in Seattle in nearly three years — their last coming July 6-8, 2009.
Tillman threw a career-high 81
3 innings, allowing just two hits — two unearned runs were charged to him after he left the game — and striking out seven.
Working quickly with a fastball that sat at 93-94 mph and reached 95-97 throughout the game, as well as a vicious curveball, Tillman retired the first 10 batters he faced before Michael Saunders hit a single up the middle with one out in the fourth.
He kept his pitch count low, throwing just 76 pitches through his first six innings.
His effort came nearly two years after his best outing as a major leaguer — he threw 71
3 innings and allowed two hits and one unearned run on July 10, 2010 at Texas.
The win clinched the Orioles’ 16th series win this season. Baltimore had just 16 series wins in all of 2011. The Orioles are also 9-4 in road series after going 6-20-1 on the road last season.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones hit his 20th homer, giving him consecutive 20-homer seasons for the first time in his career. Jones hit his 20th homer of the 2011 season on Aug. 6.
Mark Reynolds had his first multi-hit game since June 14 (he had hit .073 in the 15 games since then), and Robert Andino had his first multi-hit game since June 5 (he had hit .146 in 18 games since then).
— Baltimore Sun