BALTIMORE –- Chris Tillman looked great in spring training. After three excellent seasons, the Orioles even discussed a long-term contract with him.
Tillman won two of his first three starts, but hasn’t won since. In losing his career-high sixth straight, he allowed five earned runs for the fourth time this season.
The Orioles’ 9-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays before 36,945 at Oriole Park on Sunday sent the Orioles on their seven-game road trip to Houston and Cleveland with a homestand that started with four wins in six games, but ends with two losses.
Tillman hasn’t won since Apr. 18.
“I’m making some good pitches but not enough. When I’m falling behind, not making that quality pitch to get out of it. It’s frustrating. It really is. But we don’t stop working, we got to get better. We all know that. And I’ve got some work to do,” Tillman said.
Delmon Young, who hadn’t homered in 115 at-bats, homered twice off Jake Odorizzi and Manny Machado also had two, but that was the extent of the Orioles’ offense.
Tillman gave up six runs, five of them earned on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
“Mentally, I’m good. I feel really good with where I’m at. It’s just execution, it all comes down to execution. You make a pitch we get out of it, we are sitting here celebrating instead of going on the road with a loss. It’s unfortunate, two guys had big days like we did. We weren’t able to come out of it with a win,” Tillman said.
Adam Jones missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. He sat on the bench for some of the game, and he took the plane for Houston after the game. He missed two consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 19, 2011.
Young homered for the first time in the first to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead, and his second homer in the third tied the score at 2.
Tampa Bay scored two runs in the second. Logan Forsythe doubled, and with two outs, Nick Franklin walked. Bobby Wilson dumped a single to short right field scoring Forsythe and Young’s throw was wild allowing Franklin to score, too.
Tillman (2-7) allowed four runs in the fifth on a walk to Evan Longoria, a single to David DeJesus and a single to right by Forsythe. Steven Souza homered to left-center, his third in three games this series. That put the Rays ahead 6-2.
Young reached base for the third time off Odorizzi (4-5) in the fifth when he walked. After Chris Davis walked to load the bases, Steve Pearce grounded out to third.
Chaz Roe relieved Tillman and struck out four batters in 1 1/3 innings. Roe has struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings since joining the Orioles (23-26).
DeJesus led off the seventh with a home run off Oliver Drake, the first run he’s allowed in the majors. It was DeJesus’ fifth, and Tampa Bay (26-25) led 7-2.
Manny Machado’s two-run home run in the seventh, cut the lead to 7-4. It was Machado’s seventh, but his first since May 11. Machado also homered to lead off the ninth.
Odorizzi allowed four runs in six-plus innings.
With two runners on, Brad Boxberger got the final two outs to earn his 15th save.
The Orioles end May with a 13-16 record. Every time the team neared .500, they backed away. What will it take for the Orioles to get hot.
“Everybody healthy. That’s what it’s going to take. Everybody on the field and that’s a part of baseball, the beauty of it. It’s 162 games. Everybody’s going to be hurt, everybody’s going to be down. We’ve just got to keep battling, keep battling, pick up each other and keep running with it. It’s a long season. We’re right where we need to be. Keep grinding. Keep playing baseball, and things will keep falling into place,” Machado said.
NOTES: Showalter said that Matt Wieters, who catches Bud Norris on Tuesday in Norfolk could join the Orioles in Houston on Thursday to be the designated hitter or he could catch Tillman in Cleveland on Friday. Wieters is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Thursday.
“I think that will be good. He's ready to go, at-bats and everything. He needs all the time, but looking forward to getting him on the fourth if everything goes well Tuesday. Or the fifth,” Showalter said.
-Machado and Young are the first pair of Orioles to homer twice in a game since Davis and Machado on Sept. 26, 2012. …Jimmy Paredes is in a 1-for-22 slide. … The Orioles open a four-game series in Houston on Monday night. Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 3.14) faces Brett Oberholtzer (0-0, 3.00).