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Tillman says he's satisfied as Orioles beat Yankees


Tillman says he's satisfied as Orioles beat Yankees

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles will set their starting rotation on Sunday, and it will be a major surprise if anyone other than Chris Tillman is their Opening Day starter.

Tillman pitched in his third official Grapefruit League game on Friday, and though the results were statistically satisfying for him, he was perfectly content with how he threw.

He allowed five runs on six hits in four innings and left after J.J. Hardy made an error to begin the fifth in the Orioles’ 11-10 win over the New York Yankees in 10 innings before 8,350 at Ed Smith Stadium.

Tillman missed his first scheduled start due to a strained hip, and pitched in a “B” game. He’s given up 10 runs on 16 hits in 9 2/3 innings.

“He’s right where he needs to be. He’s carrying a good, solid fastball,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Tillman will presumably pitch one final time in Florida, next Wednesday against Detroit before starting on Opening Day against Minnesota on Apr. 4.

“It was good. I made my pitches throughout. I made a lot of really good pitches with all of them. I was pretty happy with it,” Tillman said.

Tillman struck out four and walked three, though home plate Clint Fagan’s strike zone may have been conservative.

“There were five or six strikes that were called balls. That time of year with umpires, too,” Showalter said.

The Orioles hit five home runs and Chris Denorfia’s three-run homer off Tillman in the second was their big blow.

“Balls flying all over the park today. Anything in the air,” Showalter said. “It’s one of those days. You get a few strikes called, and in a night game, it’s probably 3-2.”

RELATED: How fatherhood made J.J. Hardy stronger

Tillman didn’t think the conditions affected him.
“I didn’t think there were very many bad pitches. There were a lot of good pitches. They made good contact, I think twice all day, so I wasn’t unhappy with it by any means,” Tillman said.

He refused an opportunity to criticize Fagan, too.

“It’s not my job to calls balls and strikes. I’m going out there throwing strikes and doing what I can to get these guys out. I thought I made some pretty good pitches,” Tillman said.

He’ll be happy with the same kind of run support during the season.

Mark Trumbo hit his fifth home run of the spring. Caleb Joseph and Hardy had two-run shots. It was Joseph’s first and Hardy’s second in as many days.

“We’ve been talking about this for a while now. It’s fun to watch these guys go up and hit the ball around the park. It’s like one through nine right now and it’s fun to watch,” Tillman said.

Those were hit off New York starter Ivan Nova, who’s grappling with the fading CC Sabathia for the final Yankees rotation spot.

Manny Machado hit a home run in the seventh to tie the score at 7 and Nolan Reimold tied it at 9 in the ninth.

Reimold had two hits. In an uninspiring spring, they were most welcome.

“He needed it. He’s been scuffling. Go home to feel good about his swing. When he’s good, he’s real good. When he’s not in one of those periods, it’s a challenge,” Showalter said.

Minor leaguer Stefan Crichton allowed two runs to the Yankees in the 10th, and the Orioles scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th for the win.

Garabez Rosa, who’s regularly imported from minor league camp, hit a two-run single for the win. Rosa is 6-for-8 (.750) this spring.

Showalter said that Zach Phillips, who relieved Tillman with a runner on in the fifth and quickly got out of the inning, may pitch every other day for the rest of spring training.

There was a scary moment in the eighth inning when third baseman Steve Tolleson collided with catcher Francisco Pena in the eighth inning.

“It was a pop fly in no man’s land and we were both going after it, and I’m sure we were both calling it,” Tolleson said. “I had my arms up and had my breath knocked out of me. I tightened up a little bit. I’m sure I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

NOTES: Brian Matusz, who had a cortisone shot on Sunday, threw a side session and is scheduled to pitch on Sunday. … Matt Wieters got 11 at-bats in an intrasquad minor league game. The Orioles may decide on Saturday when he’ll catch in a major league game. … Kevin Gausman (shoulder) got treatment, but did not throw. …Outfielder Felix Perez, who signed a minor league contract earlier this month, has requested his release to pursue an opportunity in Japan. …Yovani Gallardo pitches for the Orioles on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. …The Orioles recorded their ninth sellout of the spring.

MORE ORIOLES: What will Orioles Opening Day lineup look like?

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm