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Tillman wins again as Orioles top Mariners 5-2

Tillman wins again as Orioles top Mariners 5-2

BALTIMORE—It’s becoming routine. Every fifth day, there’s Chris Tillman pitching well and giving his team a chance to win. In his last five starts, they have won. 

Tillman recorded his fifth straight win and ran his record to 6-1. He’s thrown six consecutive quality starts. 

Even better, Tillman continued his dominance of the Seattle Mariners as he pitched into the seventh inning, and allowed two runs on four hits in the Orioles’ 5-2 win over the Mariners before 21,167 at Oriole Park on Wednesday night.

The Orioles (24-14) broke a modest two-game losing streak.

“I felt good physically. The pitches kind of came along as the game went on. I felt good with all my pitches, I was fortunate to execute my pitches when I needed to. I’m happy with it,” Tillman said. 

Matt Wieters had a home run and two doubles, and continued to play his part as Tillman’s longtime catcher.

“He threw the ball well. It’s a good lineup out there, and Tilly’s real comfortable with the weapons he has right now to defend himself. He does what he does. He goes out there and competes, and doesn’t have everything together, but he has enough to keep a good-hitting team down,” Wieters said.

“The one thing you can pinpoint is the slider command has come a long way. I think he probably started throwing it about three years ago, and he’s gotten a lot of reps with it, so he’s feeling a lot more comfortable with his slider.”

For the seventh time this season, the Orioles hit back-to-back home runs. Mark Trumbo homered to begin the second, his 12th of the year, and Wieters hit his third.

Tillman gave up a home run to Leonys Martin to begin the third. 
It was just the second he’s allowed this season, and the first since Apr. 8. 

Seattle (22-17) tied it at 2 in the fourth when Nelson Cruz doubled, Kyle Seager walked, and Adam Lind’s infield out moved them up a base. Cruz scored on Chris Iannetta’s fly to left. 

Trumbo singled with one out in the fourth off Taijuan Walker (2-3) and Wieters’ double scored him for a 3-2 lead. 

“It’s very easy to forget this guy has 20-plus home runs, hitting .270, .280 and is very capable of driving in big runs and being a solid defensive catcher. That’s why he’s been to All-Star games and why his services are coveted. Because he brings a lot to the table. You get that part of it going, I think that was a little reminder of what he’s capable of,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

In the fifth, the Orioles moved ahead 4-2, scoring without a hit. Hyun Soo Kim walked, Joey Rickard reached on an error by Walker, and after Chris Davis walked with two outs, Kim scored on a wild pitch by Walker. 

Iannetta doubled to start the seventh, and after Ketel Marte struck out, Tillman was done for the evening. Brad Brach struck out Martin and Norichika- Aoki. 

Brach retired Seth Smith on a fly ball to center but Robinson Cano lined a ball off Jonathan Schoop’s glove that went for a double. Cruz walked, and Seager singled to load the bases. 

Showalter called for Zach Britton, who hadn’t pitched since Friday. Britton struck out Dae-Ho Lee and retired Iannetta on a grounder to second. 

He worked a scoreless ninth, and had his 11th save of the season, his first five-out save since Aug. 10, 2015. 

Britton had worked more than one inning just once this season, and he joked that it reminded him of how he began his career before he went to the bullpen. 

“I think an inning and two thirds was like my forte as a starter, so yeah, it was a lot like it,” Britton said.

Wieters doubled with one out in the eighth. Ryan Flaherty singled, and Wieters scored on Schoop’s fly to right.

NOTES: Wieters’ three extra-base hits tied a career high. He caught the 700th game of his career. … Manny Machado, who played in his 200th consecutive game, is in a 1-for-22 slump. … Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.51) faces Tyler Wilson (2-1, 2.93) on Thursday at 12:35 p.m. 

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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."