The Orioles picked up a series win with Wednesday’s 4-2 win in Seattle, but the afternoon belonged to starter Chris Tillman, who ensured the Orioles’ ninth road series win with a dominant 8 1/3-inning outing in which he allowed two hits and didn’t give up an earned run.
The 125-pitch outing shattered his previous career high of 112. Erasing any quibbles over high-pitch counts at Triple-A, Tillman needed just 76 offerings to get through the first six frames and put on a show for the holiday crowd of 21,982, hitting 97 mph on his 120th pitch.
“I’ve been in the comfort zone for about a month-and-a-half now,” said Tillman, who was optioned after the game to Double-A Bowie where he will make a start Monday before pitching the team’s third game after the All-Star Break.
The team was going to option Tillman after his start no matter what and this move keeps him on schedule rather than getting a long layoff with the break. Tillman will stay the minimum of 10 days in the Minors and come back to throw for the finale against Detroit on July 15. The team’s rotation heading into the break will be Jake Arrieta on Thursday, Dana Eveland or Miguel Gonzalez for Friday, Jason Hammel on Saturday and Wei-Yin Chen on Sunday.