ARLINGTON, Texas – Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman’s early-inning struggles continued Thursday night in Texas.

Tillman was chased from the game without getting an out in the second inning, with nine of the 11 batters he faced reaching base. He left the game with the Orioles trailing, 5-0, five batters into the second.

Right-hander Brad Brach entered the game with two runners on base and no outs and prevented further damage.

Tillman was charged with five runs and six hits in one-plus inning, walking three and striking out one. He threw 51 pitches, including 29 strikes.

It’s the second time in a four-start span that Tillman has been unable to retire a batter in the second inning. He recorded just three outs against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 21, allowing eight runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out one in a 9-8 loss.

In Tillman’s last start, he allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros on Saturday. But in the two starts before that and Thursday's outing, he has allowed 19 total runs in 7 2/3 innings.

Tillman has a 10.50 ERA in the first two innings of starts this season, and he has a 2.49 ERA from the third inning to the end of the game.

Tillman, who blossomed into a front-line starter last year with 16 wins and 3.71 ERA, was originally scheduled to start Saturday, but he was moved to Thursday when right-hander Miguel Gonzalez was scratched with right oblique stiffness.

Tillman was still pitching on his regular four days of rest.

The Orioles now trail, 5-2, following the Nick Markakis’ two-run homer in the third inning.

eencina@baltsun.com

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