ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Backed by eight shutout innings from right-hander Chris Tillman in his first career start back home in Orange County, the Orioles beat the Angels 5-1 on Thursday night at Angel Stadium to take the first game of this four-game series.
In the clubhouse after the game, most of the talk focused around Tillman, who recorded his best start of the season. Here's what some of the key figures had to say:
Manager Buck Showalter
On Tillman’s performance:
“He’s capable of it. You could tell early on he had a crisp fastball. You give Matt three pitches to work, it’s pretty good. Considering what went on yesterday and the time everybody got in bed, it’s one of the challenges you face, you need a good outing like that. [Pitching coach] Rick [Adair] made a great call to send him along, got him a flight yesterday afternoon. I don’t know if that had something to do with it, but it certainly reads well.”
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On Tillman’s first-inning struggles:
“I remember sitting there and it looked like it was going to be a 20 pitch an inning outing. He caught up some there in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Pitching that eighth inning was huge. I know there’s about seven guys down in the bullpen who really liked it, including the bullpen catcher.”
On Tillman winning in his hometown:
“Yeah, I’m sure it is [special]. I don’t think he spends a lot of time dwelling on it. That’s some kind of tough lineup to go through. He had a lot of things working for him. Three pitches. You give Matt three pitches to put in hitters minds it’s pretty good. He can change planes on a lot of pitches.”
Right-hander Chris Tillman
On staying ahead of hitters:
“Throw strikes. Throw strikes early. Work off your fastball, fastball command. Wietey did a good job. I was off a little bit there in the first and second inning and he did a good job of making me throw all my pitches and that’s what got me back on track. Wiety has been great with me all year.
On giving the bullpen a rest:
“It’s always important. We had a talk before, we need to give those guys a rest. They’ve been throwing a lot. It’s big to have a start like that. Guys deserve the rest, they’ve been pitching their butts off for us.”
Catcher Matt Wieters
“It was a tough lineup so we knew we’d have to mix a lot of pitches to keep them off balance. I think the biggest thing was that Tillman was able to control the ball in tonight. He was able to back them off the plate a little bit and throw some strikes in where you couldn’t just lean out there. That made his off-speed stuff even better.”
On Tillman getting ahead in the count:
“That’s a big key for any pitcher. It’s a lot easier to pitch especially at this level when you’re ahead and you make hitters have to adjust to you as opposed to vice versa.”
On giving the bullpen a rest:
“It’s big to give those guys a little bit of a rest. Jim’s probably the one guy who hasn’t out there and he was able to get out there and get some work tonight, which was good.”
Center fielder Adam Jones
On Tillman pitching so well at home:
“He had 25 tickets, probably more than that, so I’m sure he was going to hear about it from his family and friends if he didn’t go out and do what he did. He had his fastball command, his change up command and his curveball command and he worked quick. He threw strikes and most importantly he threw strike one. He kept the defense on its toes and that’s all we ask out of any pitcher. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a starter or a reliever. He kept us in the game and he did exactly whathe wanted to do tonight.
On getting first win of a four-game series:
It’s important, it’s important in any series to get that first game, but the first one is over with. Now we’ve got to concentrate on [Jason] Vargas tomorrow.