SARASOTA, FLA. – Chris Tillman turned in the longest outing of the spring for an Orioles pitcher – topping We-Yin Chen’s performance on Friday – and the Orioles beat a makeshift Yankees lineup, 2-1.
Tillman, who is considered the likely favorite to start Opening Day for the Orioles, threw five scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer to Francisco Arcia to begin the sixth. It was the only run and just the third hit allowed by Tillman, who struck out five and walked two.
“I felt good. I made some good pitches,” said Tillman, who threw 73 pitches, 46 for strikes. “I was mixing them today as opposed to going out and just trying to establish fastball command. I felt good physically and felt good coming out of it.”
Tillman retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced in a Yankees lineup that was void of most of its regulars, who were in Panama for an exhibition series. Tillman was supposed to go five innings, but because of the way he was throwing, he was told to throw to one more batter in the sixth.
“I didn’t know what the plan was going in, but after the fifth they asked me if I wanted one more hitter and I said, ‘Sure. I might as well get up the sixth time,’” Tillman said. “I think that’s important, to get up and down. And I think we established what we needed to do today.”
Playing before a sellout crowd of 8,602 – the largest at Ed Smith Stadium this season – the Orioles (10-5-1) used a solo homer by Chris Davis and a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Schoop to secure the win.
The game also featured the major league debut of Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon, who entered in the seventh and threw a scoreless inning. He allowed a leadoff single, but then induced two fly balls and a groundout. He threw only 11 pitches, including eight strikes.
“I knew I'd be nervous,” Yoon said through interpreter Justin Yoo. “But I pitched nine years in Korea, so overall I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be.”
Yoon threw a 91 mph fastball for his first pitch. He never reached that speed again.
“Yeah, I was amped,” he said. “I honestly thought I was going to throw about 88, but once I saw the 91 I felt good."