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Chris Tillman doesn't get an out in 3rd in 12-2 Orioles' loss

Chris Tillman doesn't get an out in 3rd in 12-2 Orioles' loss

BALTIMORE – Chris Tillman says he’s fine. Buck Showalter says Tillman is fine, so he must be fine. 

Everything was fine with Tillman—except for the way he pitched. 

After his start on Wednesday was delayed three days because of shoulder discomfort, Tillman had an awful outing, not recording an out in the third inning and allowing six runs, walking five and hitting a batter. 

Except of Opening Day when a long rain delay curtailed his start to two innings, Tillman had pitched into the fifth inning in each of his next 24 starts and completed five in 23 of them. 

Tillman’s frightful start put the Orioles on their way to a 12-2 loss to the Houston Astros before 39,373 at Oriole Park, many of whom arrived early to receive their “Crush Davis” bobbleheads. 

“Physically, I felt fine. That’s the big positive coming out of this—probably the only positive you can find. I felt good. Just couldn’t command the baseball,” Tillman said. 

Manager Buck Showalter suggested that Tillman was rusty because of extra rest.

“That’s an excuse, but you know what? I couldn’t command the baseball. It was definitely rusty, definitely not where I wanted to be with any of my pitches. That’s a pretty good lineup to try and go out there and wing it on. You’ve got to be better than that with them,” Tillman said. 

Showalter says he believes Tillman when he says that he was fin. 

“Chris has come a long way in his baseball maturity. He's not going to do anything to hurt the club. I trust his honesty with us. I'd like to think I know him well enough with the look in his eye. He doesn't BS us anymore. He knows how important these game are. I expect him to have a good outing next time out and feel good tomorrow. A lot of people would jump on that excuse. Chris is not one of these guys,” Showalter said. 

Odrisamer Despaigne, who was recalled from Norfolk because the team needed another long man after Friday night’s 15-8 loss, allowed four runs in three innings, and was returned to the Tides after the game. 

The Orioles will promote a pitcher on Sunday. 

By the time Despaigne left the Orioles were down 10-1, and after Donnie Hart, Mychal Givens and Brad Brach each pitched an inning, Showalter used Ryan Flaherty to pitch the ninth. 

It was the first time a position player pitched for the Orioles since Chris Davis did on May 6, 2012 in Boston, and the first time Showalter used a position player merely to save the bullpen in his six years as Orioles manager. 

“One of those things you want to do until you get out there. But I don’t like it period, but what are you going to do? I started looking at options about four innings earlier because I knew we had a chance to get there,” Showalter said. 

Flaherty, who homered off Jeff Francoeur, an outfielder pitching in June 2015, found out that turnabout was fair play. 

He allowed a home run to Jason Castro, his first batter in the ninth. 

“I think I had it coming for me after last year,” Flaherty said. 

The early arrivers got to see a two-run home run by Alex Bregman with none out in the first, his second in three games. 

Castro’s RBI double and Jose Altuve’s run-scoring single gave Houston (63-30) a 4-0 lead in the second. 

Tillman (15-5) came apart in the third when he hit leadoff batter Evan Gattis and walked three straight. He left for Despaigne, called up with five runs in. After Tony Kemp hit into a double play, the Orioles (67-55) were down 6-0. 

Despaigne gave up a two-run homer to George Springer, his 25th of the season in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Davis homered against Mike Fiers (9-6) with two outs in the fourth.

It was Davis’ 29th home run, and the fifth he’s hit in four games. It’s the second time this season Davis has homered in four straight games. From June 7-12, he hit home runs in five consecutive games. 

Fiers limited the Orioles to a run on five hits in seven innings. 

Steve Pearce hit his first home run since rejoining the Orioles earlier this month in the eighth. 

Flaherty, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, remembered the last time he pitched.

“High school. Wasn’t very good then and still not,” Flaherty said. 

NOTES: Orioles pitchers walked a season-high 10 batters. … This was the second time this season the Orioles have allowed 10 or more runs in consecutive games. They also did it on June 11-12. … Dallas Keuchel (7-12, 4.76) faces Yovani Gallardo (4-4, 5.18) on Sunday afternoon.

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

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

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