NEW YORK—Buck Showalter was back. So were Chris Davis and Manny Machado. But Adam Jones was out, and so were Joey Rickard and Matt Wieters.
Yet another cobbled together lineup. This one produced four runs, and the most runs since July 8. The 4-1 win over the New York Yankees before 42,476 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday sent the Orioles home happy.
In the Orioles’ previous eight games, they’ve scored four runs or fewer and, in the first three games of this series, had managed just three runs.
Thanks to Chris Tillman’s 14th win, and two runs in the first and seventh the Orioles left the Bronx with a smile.
“They’re pitching well, and we’re not swinging the bat particularly well, and you come out of it with a ‘W,’ and we won one in a row, and we’re going home,” manager Buck Showalter said.
For the fourth straight start, Tillman (14-2) allowed a run in seven innings, and he’s averaged four hits in each start.
That’s as good of a four-pitch mix as he’s had. He’s had some good ones, too. You can tell. He was really trying to give us what we needed today. It’s good to get him some runs early to give him some margin for error,” Showalter said. “That’s impressive, especially when you keep in mind he’s been facing these guys for a long time, and they know everything he’s going to try to do, and he can still do it.”
After going 3-for-33 with runners in scoring position in the first six games after the All-Star break, the Orioles scored two runs in the first. With one out, Jonathan Schoop reached on an infield single, and took third on Machado’s single. With two outs, Davis walked to load the bases, and J.J. Hardy singled off shortstop Didi Gregorius’ glove to drive home Schoop and Machado for a 2-0 lead off CC Sabathia (5-8).
“It was four games. I don’t know all the stats and everything, but I know we lost four in a row,” Hardy said. “You go through these stretches throughout the season and you’ve just got to stay positive and things will turn around.”
Tillman walked two and allowed a single in the first inning, but pitched out of trouble. Gregorius scored on Starlin Castro’s RBI single in the second. That gave New York (48-47) its only run.
“After the first inning, I feel like we got in sync. Was able to command all four to both sides. When you have that, it’s fun. You get to go out and make pitches and Caleb did an outstanding job of getting back on track there,” Tillman said.
Wieters had caught Tillman in each of his first 20 starts. With Wieters out, Joseph worked well with Tillman.
“I had a lot of fun today. I told him that. To be able to command all four pitches to both sides of the plate, you’re giving the catcher a lot more weapons and when you’re able to give the catcher the ability to call whatever he wants in whatever situation he wants to, it turns out to be fun,” Tillman said.
Joseph, who caught three consecutive games for the first time this season, said there wasn’t much of an adjustment.
Tillman ended by retiring 16 of his last 17 batters.
The Orioles (54-40) added two more runs to take a 4-1 lead in the seventh on one-out singles by Joseph and Julio Borbon and a two-run double by Schoop.
“That was big. That game just kind of had a feeling of just a one-run game not being good for us, so that was a big hit for Schoopie and the team,” Hardy said.
Brad Brach worked a scoreless eighth and Zach Britton a perfect ninth for his 30th save.
Showalter is hoping to get Jones, who’s out with a back spasm, Wieters, who has a bruised right foot, and Rickard, who injured his right thumb trying to field Brett Gardner’s triple in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game, back shortly.
“We’re so close with a lot of them. I’m hoping they’re a day or two type things. I don’t want to lose a guy for 13 days, so we’ll probably just wait on it,” Showalter said.
He said he was feeling better.
“I was real smart with Chris Tillman pitching. I know I’m living right…We were in good hands,” Showalter said.
NOTES: The Orioles have reached agreement with Brandon Bonilla, their 13th round draft pick. Bonilla, who signed for $100,000 is in Sarasota. He’s the son of Bobby Bonilla, who played for the Orioles. …The Cleveland Indians come to Baltimore for three games beginning Friday night. Trevor Bauer (7-3, 3.36) faces Dylan Bundy (2-2, 3.70) on Friday.