BALTIMORE—The first of four games without Manny Machado turned out quite acceptably for the Orioles.
Despite Chris Tillman’s ragged second inning, the Orioles ended up with an 11-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before 39,024 at Oriole Park on Sunday.
The Orioles (40-28) have split their 10 games this year with Toronto (39-33), and maintained their one-game lead over Boston in the American League East.
Tillman (10-1) won for the ninth straight time despite frittering away a three-run lead in the second.
“I finished up good. It was a little struggle early on. I think fastball command was a little off, but we finished up well. Made some pitches when we needed to and like I said, the boys picked me up, picked me up big time today. Tough day on the bullpen, but we came out of everything with a big series win,” Tillman said.
The Orioles set a season high with 19 hits. Matt Wieters equaled his career high with four hits and had five RBIs. Jonathan Schoop had his second straight three hit game. He drove in three runs.
Tillman made it through five innings. He allowed just one hit outside of the second when Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis each hit two-run home runs to give the Blue Jays a temporary 4-3 lead.
“When you get these two offenses together, you know you’re going to need to score with each other. And Tillman really threw the ball great except for the second inning, I think. It was a hot one out there so the ball was going pretty good. So he was able to get through that second and give us five strong,” Wieters said.
Chris Davis’ RBI single and Wieters’ two-run home run off Marcus Stroman (6-3) gave the Orioles that 3-0 lead.
Ryan Flaherty’s RBI single scored Pedro Alvarez in the second to tie it at 4.
Run-scoring singles by Schoop and Adam Jones and Flaherty’s RBI double put the Orioles ahead 7-4 in the fourth.
Wieters’ third hit of the day, an RBI single, gave the Orioles an 8-4 lead in the fifth.
Tillman left after 99 pitches, and in five inning, allowed four runs on five hits and struck out five.
“It's a challenge against them. It's a hot, offensive-friendly day and he had that one inning that got his pitch count up. He's coming off a 119 pitches last time. I didn't want to push him. He wasn't real happy with the old manager. He said he felt great, and I said we want to keep you that way,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Tillman said he didn’t want to come out of the game.
“I felt really good, actually. I felt like I was starting to get on a roll, get on track. Our bullpen needs a rest. Our guys have been throwing a lot. It was a rough early couple of innings, so I understand,” Tillman said.
Odrisamer Despaigne, who is a candidate to start on Wednesday against San Diego, followed Tillman and gave up two runs, one of them unearned, as Toronto closed to within 8-6 in the seventh.
Wieters’ RBI single and Schoop’s two-run homer, his 12th, in the seventh, put the Orioles ahead 11-6.
The Orioles have a 26-12 record at home. That’s the most home wins in baseball, and they have an 18-13 record in the AL East.
“Every series win against a division opponent is really, really big. Every win counts. This division is really close. Every team is really good and this series was big for us,” Schoop said.
After their one-game trip to Texas and two games against San Diego, the Orioles will have a four-game series against Tampa Bay, their final AL East series until following the All-Star break.
They lost three of four at Toronto last weekend, but followed that with winning two of three against Boston and the Blue Jays.
“Any time you come out with a series win in the division, it’s important. Every game counts just as much as the next, but in the division is big, especially this past month. We’ve had a tough schedule the past month. We still have a tough schedule coming up. It’s a big series win,” Tillman said.
NOTES: Home plate umpire Dale Scott was hit in the groin by a foul ball by Flaherty and left the game. First base umpire Bob Davidson filled in for Scott. … Kevin Gausman (0-4, 4.14) pitches against Derek Holland (5-5, 5.14) in the one-game makeup in Texas on Monday night at 8:05 p.m. … The Orioles have won nine series at home this season, lost one and split two.