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Triple Play Can't Save Chris Tillman In 7-5 Loss To Tigers

August 4, 2017
BALTIMORE -- Not even an impressive triple play could save Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman during a 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers Aug. 3.

After a 43-minute delay at the start of the game, Tillman surrendered two home runs to the game's first three batters, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton. One batter later, the game went into another delay lasting just less than an hour. Tillman said the multiple delays had no effect on him.

The 17,157 fans who stuck around were rewarded with something special.
 
With Detroit's Victor Martinez on second and Mikie Mahtook on first with no one out in the second, James McCann hit a sharp grounder to third. Manny Machado stepped on third, fired to Jonathan Schoop at second, and Schoop's relay to first was in time to nab McCann.
 
It was the Orioles' second triple play this season, and their first at home since Aug. 25, 1992.
 
Manager Buck Showalter thought the triple play could catapult Tillman to a better outing.
 
"It usually does, but that gives you an indication of how much Chris is struggling with his command right now, because usually on paper that's what happens," Showalter said.
 
Tillman allowed five runs in the third without recording an out, and two scored when Upton's apparent double-play ball scooted through shortstop Tim Beckham's legs.
 
"It's killing me right now. It really is, but you can't dwell on that," Tillman said. "You got to take the positives and run with it. I saw a lot tonight. I know the scoreboard won't show it and most people won't see it, but there were a lot of good things that happened tonight. And if you're going to take anything good away from this, that was a pretty horrible start and we almost came back and won that game."

The loss ended the Orioles' five-game winning streak, as they fell to 53-55 on the season.  
 
Tillman is 1-7 with an 8.10 ERA.
 
"You keep waiting for him," Showalter said. "It's tough because you've got a guy who's really got a track record of pitching well for us over an extended period of time, and he's just not doing it right now."
 
A strong one-hit, six-inning performance by right-hander Miguel Castro enabled the Orioles to stay relatively involved as they clawed their way back from a 7-0 deficit.
 
Castro had been a starter in the minors, and after this performance, perhaps the Orioles could move him into the rotation.
 
"We've considered that all along. That's why he was starting at Bowie," Showalter said. 
 
Beckam continued his hot hitting with a single, double and home run. He's 6-for-11 in his first three games with Orioles and has three straight multi-hit games for the first time in his career.
 
NOTES: DH/OF Mark Trumbo (rib) reported he was pain-free and hopes to be activated when he's eligible Aug. 9. Showalter said he thought Trumbo would need a few rehab games. … RHP Hunter Harvey (elbow) has his next rehab outing at short-season Class-A Aberdeen Aug. 9. Harvey has thrown five scoreless innings for Gulf Coast. … INF Ryan Flaherty (right shoulder) is scheduled to play Aug. 4 and 5 for Double-A Bowie at Portland, which is near his home. Flaherty is hitting .217 in seven rehab games for Bowie and Class-A Frederick.  … RHPs Kevin Gausman (8-7, 5.37) and Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.29) are the scheduled pitchers for Aug. 4. … INF Johnny Giavotella cleared waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk. … Total delays this year are 11 hours, 12 minutes.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox