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Tillman pitches well, but not well enough in loss to Houston

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Tillman pitches well, but not well enough in loss to Houston

BALTIMORE --- Chris Tillman pitched perhaps his best game of the season, and had nothing to show for it.

For six innings, Tillman allowed no runs and just three hits. He gave up two runs in the seventh, and once he was gone things went farther south.

The Orioles 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros before 21,541 on Tuesday night at Oriole Park continued a pattern. Impressive wins followed by disheartening defeats

In 15 of the Orioles’ 23 losses, they’ve scored two runs or fewer.

“Until we get some things going offensively, it really makes for a tough atmosphere to pitch in,” manager Buck Showalter said.

While Jimmy Paredes continues to hit, few others have. J.J. Hardy is hitting just .180, and hasn’t produced after missing the first 25 games with a shoulder injury.

Steve Pearce, Monday’s hero, is still under .200, and Chris Davis, who was booed after his ninth-inning strikeout is in a frightening .4-for-42 slide that’s left him with a .208 average and no home runs in his last 12 games.

“I think we’re pressing a little bit. Myself, trying to go out there and do too much. I’ve got to swing at balls in the strike zone,” Davis said.

“That’s one thing. It doesn’t matter if your swing feels good or if it feels bad if you’re not swinging at balls in the zone, you’re not giving yourself a chance. That’s probably the most frustrating thing for me.

 After Monday’s exciting 4-3 win, the Orioles hoped for better from Tillman, and got it, but their offense did next to nothing.

Tillman allowed a leadoff single to George Springer and he was immediately erased when Jose Altuve hit into a double play.

He allowed runners in the first four innings, and in the fourth was in trouble when he issued his third walk to leadoff batter Preston Tucker. With two outs, Luis Valbuena hit a drive to left field. David Lough’s threw to Hardy who fired home and Tucker was out.

Tillman (2-6) retired the next six batters.

Scott Feldman had baserunners in the first three innings, but each time got a double play.

Paredes, who had three hits, doubled to start the sixth, moved to third on an infield out and scored on Davis’ liner to right.

Evan Gattis led off the seventh with a double and scored from third on Chris Carter’s two-out single to left. Carter scored on Jason Castro’s double to right.

In seven innings, Tillman allowed two runs on five hits, walking three and striking out five. He’s lost a career-high five straight.

“I wasn’t very good at getting the first hitter of the inning, but it put some stress on you to get pitches and to get a double play or some quick outs. I’d like to be better with that first hitter,” Tillman said.

Tommy Hunter allowed a leadoff double to Springer in the eight and a single by Altuve. Altuve stole second, and with runners on second and third with none out, Hunter made a fine play to field Tucker’s hopper.

He saw Springer trying to score, ran him back to the bag and Manny Machado tagged him for the first out. Gattis grounded to shortstop, and Hardy threw home to Caleb Joseph and Altuve was out.

Brian Matusz walked Colby Rasmus, who struck out three times against Tillman, and Valbuena’s two-run single gave Houston (30-17) a 4-1 lead.

“Brian just hasn’t been as consistent as he’s capable of, that’s for sure. We’ve seen him get some big out for us. We liked our chances there. The walk to Rasmus, and we hung a breaking ball to Valbuena. Also, we did some things to create that situation that we were almost out of by some good defensive plays. Tommy made one, but we also made some mistakes that put people out there to create those situations,” Showalter said.

Feldman (4-4) allowed one run on four hits in six innings.

Pat Neshek, Chad Qualls and Luke Gregerson combined to shut out the Orioles in the last three innings. Gregerson got his 13th save.

Davis presses on.

“Right now, I’m going out there and doing all the work early and hitting in the cage and doing everything I can, and once the game starts trying to slow it down and really relax and kind of let the game come to you, just trying to do too much right now. At some point, it has to change,” Davis said.

NOTES: The Orioles hit into three double plays for the second straight game. … Collin McHugh (5-2, 4.06) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 2.82) on Wednesday at 4:35 p.m. … Mike Wright pitches one game of Thursday’s doubleheader against Chicago. T.J. McFarland or Tyler Wilson will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to start the other.

MORE ORIOLES: WIETERS TAKES ANOTHER POSITIVE STEP

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.

"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."

Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.

The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.

Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.

Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.

"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."