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Tillman pitches brilliantly, Jones hits big homer in 1-0 win

Tillman pitches brilliantly, Jones hits big homer in 1-0 win

BALTIMORE—Suddenly, it’s 2014 again.

The Orioles are getting quality start after quality start. Instead of Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris, it’s Kevin Gausman, Ubaldo Jimenez and Tyler Wilson.

But, there’s one constant. And that’s Chris Tillman. 

Tillman, who put together a string of 12 straight quality starts in the second half of 2014 when the Orioles pulled away from the AL East, has rediscovered that magic. 

On Friday night, Tillman recorded his fifth straight fine start, allowing just five hits in seven innings as the Orioles won their sixth straight, beating the Detroit Tigers 1-0 before 30,488 at Oriole Park.

The Orioles (22-12) are playing very well, to be sure. But, the season isn’t a quarter over, and the team will face difficult challenges. 

Tillman (5-1) has made facing those challenges easier. 

“I feel good right now. I think mechanically I’m in a good place and I’m able to execute all my pitches when I need to, not necessarily throwing fastballs in a fastball count, but I’m able to throw some other things that I’m not used to doing. It’s fun right now, and I’ll try to keep it going,” Tillman said. 

He allowed two hits in the first, and two more baserunners in the second before he settled down. After Ian Kinsler singled to start the third, he retired 10 straight before Miguel Cabrera walked with two outs in the sixth. 

As Victor Martinez came up, the Orioles went into a severe shift, and the only infielder on the left side, Manny Machado fielded a hard ground ball well into the outfield and threw Cabrera out at second.

Justin Verlander (2-4) gave up a two-out single to Adam Jones and walked Chris Davis in the first, and he didn’t give up another hit until Davis singled in the fourth. 

Jones hit a long home run to center with one out in the sixth. It was Jones’ fourth of the season, his third in four games, and the first one he’d hit at home. It was the 200th home run of Jones’ career. 

“I've been playing for a while. I think it's pretty cool, glad we got the win. I think personal things are all cool and fine and dandy if you go out there and play and perform every day, things like this tend to happen,” Jones said. 

He’s hit all but three of those homers with the Orioles, and when he hits three more, he’ll become the seventh player to hit 200 with the franchise. 

The others are Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Rafael Palmeiro and Brady Anderson. 

“If you think about the other six or seven people you're talking about, one, you've got to be good and be wanted in a place for that long. A lot of people in today's game they move on. But he wanted to be here and we wanted him to be here. It's a product of him being a good player and being with one club for a long period of time,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

Nick Castellanos doubled to lead off the seventh, and then struck out Justin Upton and Steven Moya before retiring James McCann on a long fly to right field as Tillman’s night ended. 

“Chris has got a good feel right now. There’s a lot of pressure on catchers. He doesn’t shake Matt [Wieters] off and there’s a lot of pressure on catchers on both sides to put down good fingers.” Showalter said. 

Tillman hasn’t allowed a home run in 42 2/3 innings.

“He’s got command of some pitches that he didn’t a lot of times last year and it’s created a different look. Our catcher’s really good about trying not to show the whole repertoire in the first two or three innings and you’ve got somewhere to go. You can’t just sit there and stay with one pattern,” Showalter said.

For the second straight night, Darren O’Day pitched a scoreless eighth, and Zach Britton worked a spotless ninth for his 10th save. 

Verlander (2-4) threw an eight-inning complete game, allowing one run on four hits. 

Detroit (15-20) was shut out for the fourth time. 

“I know what this team’s capable of, and what we’re capable of doing, and I think as long as you long as you get the ball to the bullpen with the lead, I think we’re in pretty good shape and I think that’s the belief throughout the clubhouse. We’ve got a really solid bullpen especially in the back end. It’s fun to watch them do what they do,” Tillman said.

NOTES: Mark Trumbo’s streak of reaching base in 25 straight games ended. … Tillman is now 5-0 against Detroit, and Verlander 7-1 in Baltimore. … Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 5.89) faces Mike Wright (1-3, 5.83) on Saturday night. 

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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

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