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Orioles end first half with Chris Tillman's 12th win


Orioles end first half with Chris Tillman's 12th win

BALTIMORE—The Orioles scattered for a few days. Five go off for the All-Star Game. Others went to their offseason homes or vacation spots. A few will just rest.

They end the first half with a two-game lead in the American League East, and with a stellar 33-14 record at home. 

In a fascinating first half of the season with starting pitching often vexing the Orioles, the one constant has been Chris Tillman. .

Tillman wasn’t named to the American League All-Star team. That’s fine because he wouldn’t have been able to pitch anyway. 

The Orioles were happier that Tillman was available to pitch in the last game before the break, and he ends it was a stellar 12-2 record. 

Tillman allowed one run on three hits and though he did walk five, the Orioles came through with a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels before 32,963 at Oriole Park on Sunday. 

After walking Kole Calhoun with one out in the first, Mike Trout hit a drive to right that Mark Trumbo threw to Jonathan Schoop at second. Schoop’s throw home was caught by Matt Wieters, who tagged Calhoun. 

Home plate umpire Tim Timmons called Calhoun out, but after a two minute, 40 second review, the call was overturned.

Tillman walked Yunel Escobar and Calhoun to start the third, but he struck out Trout and got Albert Pujols to ground out to short, starting a double play to end the third. 

“The end result was good. We came out on top. It was a grind. It was a grind from the get-go. I was missing with all my pitches early. Fortunately, we were able to kind of get in somewhat of a rhythm and mix some pitches and get out of innings. To come out on top was good,” Tillman said. 

Tim Lincecum (1-3), who was signed by the Angels (37-51) last month, allowed three runs to the Orioles (51-36). Chris Davis hit an opposite field two-run home run in the fourth, and in the sixth, Pedro Alvarez’s pop to short looked as if it was going to be caught by shortstop Andrelton Simmons, but he backed away at the last minute and it dropped.

Alvarez wound up on third after Simmons threw wildly on the relay, and J.J. Hardy’s single scored Alvarez. 

Brad Brach, on his way to the All-Star Game, gave up an unearned run in the eighth. Calhoun’s line drive to right was misplayed by Trumbo, and he got to third on a two-base error. Pujols’ fly ball scored Calhoun. 

Hardy added his third home run of the season in the eighth. It was his first home run since he hit two in Boston on Apr. 12. 

Zach Britton, who is also going to San Diego, picked up his 27th save with a scoreless ninth. It was the 100th save of his career. 

"That's a nice little number,” Britton said I think it's more of a credit to well Darren [O’Day] and Brad have thrown in front of me , and a lot of other guys too, to put me in a situation to be successful.”

Because Tillman pitched Sunday he was ineligible for the All-Star Game, but he’ll take the time off.

“It was not disappointing. The American League is a good league. There are a lot of good pitchers. A lot of guys that deserve it. We’ve got five guys going, so that makes everyone in this clubhouse happy. We’re well represented. I’m not disappointed at all,” Tillman said. 

Showalter kept emphasizing the Orioles have 75 games to play. 

“It's obvious what's ahead of us. A lot of challenges. But we have a chance to play meaningful games every day. They were in April, OK? So, they've earned that and they want it.  They want to be in that cooker. That’s the difference between them and a lot of people. They want to play. They want to be in the arena, not watching outside in. Everybody would like to be in it, but they don't have the ability that they have. They want that. Have to cross a lot of roads to get there, though. A lot of roads,” Showalter said. 

NOTES: Hyun Soo Kim left the game after the first inning with a strained right hamstring. He said it would be tested on Monday and hoped he wouldn’t miss any time. … RHP Jason Garcia was optioned to Bowie. ... Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.82) faces Chris Archer (4-12, 4.66) on Friday night at Tampa Bay when the Orioles resume play. … Escobar was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning by Timmons. … The Orioles’ 33 home wins are the most by any team in baseball. Their 14 losses are tied for the fewest.

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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."