Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's pitching matchup pitted Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.54 ERA) against the inconsistent but talented Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 3.95 ERA). The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the 4th on a sac fly by Asdrubal Cabrera. After scattering a couple hits in the 2nd, Jimenez dominated the Orioles hitters, setting down ten in a row before a J.J. Hardy single in the 5th. The Orioles missed on a golden opportunity in the 6th, loading the bases with two outs before Michael Morse grounded out to Jimenez for the final out. Tillman allowed another run in the 6th, once again via a Cabrera sac fly. With runners on the corners and one out, the Indians broke open a nice 4-0 lead on a Yan Gomes double. A three run bomb from Nate McLouth in the 9th made things interesting but ultimately the Indians held on for the 4-3 win.
Chris Tillman, usually the road warrior, took the mound and didn't have his sharpest command tonight. He scattered a couple hits over his first three innings without allowing a score. He ran into some control issues in the 4th, walking Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana to lead off the inning. An Asdrubal Cabrera sac fly would give the Indians a 1-0 lead. With two outs and runners on the corners in the 4th, Tillman came up with a big strikeout on a swing and miss 94 MPH fastball on the corner to Yan Gomes.
Leadoff walks are usually trouble. Santana walked to lead off the 6th and Michael Brantley followed that up with a double. Once again Cabrera got a sac fly to extend the Indians lead to 2-0. After intentionally walking Jason Kubel, things unraveled with a two run double by Gomes. That would be it for Tillman.
Tillman brought an effective arsenal with him tonight in the early innings. Shaky command led to him running up a high pitch count early in the game and ultimately led to the Indians coming up with a big hit against him in the 6th. His main issue was his inconsistenty with staying on top of the curveball although fastball command was okay. His three strikeouts came via a swing and miss versus a low and away fastball. His velocity ranged from 91-94 MPH. Two of his walks allowed were intentional and both were to Kubel.
Final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, Loss
T. J.McFarland entered the game for Tillman and stayed on to pitch the 7th. He pitched well, working out of the 6th, retiring the side in the 7th, including a Kipnis strikeout, and getting an out in the 8th. Two perfect innings in total with two strikeouts.
Josh Stinson, just callled up today, was brought on to get the final two outs the 8th. He succeeded, inducing the next two btters into groundouts to second. He was touching 94 MPH with his fastball.
Through the 5th: The hitters struggled to get anything going against Ubaldo Jimenez who did a good job throwing strike one, something that isn't always the case with Jimenez and his goofy pitching mechanics.
Through the 9th: Several hitters reached base, the high point being the bases loaded for Morse with two outs in the 6th, but no runs were driven in.
In the 9th: Hardy and Markakis led off with singles. Nate McLouth hit a three run jack off Chris Perez. Perez would find his groove and retire the next three batters.
J.J Hardy went 2-for-3 on the night with a pair of singles and a walk.
Nate McLouth went 2-for-4 in the nine hole, driving in all three runs.
No double plays were turned in this game.
Young Manuel reached first on a fielding error by Lonnie Chisenhall in the 1st. He would be left stranded.
Key Moments In The Game
The Yan Gomes double which gave the indians a comfortable four run lead.
Orioles not taking adavantage of scoring opportunities until the 9th inning when the McLouth homer proved to be too little, too late.
Tillman was denied his ninth road win which would have tied him with Daniel Cabrera (nine in 2004) and Rodrigo Lopez (nine in 2005) for the most road wins for an Oriole pitcher since 2000.
In the 9th inning, Chris Davis swung at a pitch that hit his ankle, so he wasn't able to take a base. That's something that I'm sure happens every once in a while but I've never seen.
Jonathan Schoop is now in an Orioles uniform. He is considered the top hitting prospect in the farm system. It should be interesting to see how he plays when he gets his chances as he could be in line to take over at second base next year.
Miss Jason Hammel? You're in luck. He pitched four innings of rehab work for Aberdeen tonight and is expected to be activated September 7. And did I mention its his birthday? He's 31.
That is all. Hopefully, the O's get the crucial series win tomorrow night.
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