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Chris Tillman talks about his strong start vs. Blue Jays

On an exceptionally cool night in Baltimore, Chris Tillman turned in the best outing of his young season Monday night in the Orioles’ 2-1 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing four hits, three walks and one run in 6 2/3 innings.

It was his longest outing in four starts -- and ties Jason Hammel for the club’s longest start this season -- and it was the first time Tillman gave up one run or fewer in 2013.

He didn’t get the win; the Orioles didn’t earn that until Nick Markakis’ RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. But that doesn’t take away from Tillman’s performance.

“Tillman was good, huh? That was an impressive outing,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “To have that kind of command of the curveball and off-speed pitches on a night where the … ball's slick. That was pretty impressive. I'm proud of him.”

Here is what Tillman said after the game:

Why were you successful today?

“I was able to get ahead with my pitches early and my secondary stuff was there for me. I was able to pound the strike zone early and kind of make the pitches when I needed to.”

Most every pitch working for you?

“For most of the night. My changeup got away from me the in the middle of the game but Matt [Wieters] was able to get me back on track. He had me throw it a couple times and it came back to where I needed it.”

Feel Monday like you did last year?

“Yeah, I’ve felt good the whole season, just off a little bit. Made some minor adjustments. Me and Rick [Adair] put in a lot of work in days between my starts. Worked on some things and got it right.”

Feel like you were matching J.A. Happ?

“Yeah, he threw a great game. And O’Day came in and picked me up big time there in the last inning. I think our offense battled the whole game and Nicky [Markakis] put a good swing on a good pitch there at the end.”

Was it a tough day to pitch?

“It was cold for everybody. This time of year you kind of expect that weather. You’ve got to work through it and we’ve been dealing with it for quite some time now. We are used to it.”

But you handled the cold well?

“Yeah, I’ve been working in cold weather for a month and a half now, even in spring training, it was cold the whole time. So, like I said, I think we’re used to it.”

Was getting ahead the main key?

“I think so. I think the last game I didn’t get ahead but six times, and I think it showed exactly what happens. Another thing is getting the offense back in the dugout as fast as possible. If you leave them out there on the field, having long innings, it kind of puts the momentum on the other side. And you want to get it back in your dugout.”   

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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