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Against Yankees, Orioles' Chris Tillman continues impressive run

Chris Tillman didn’t feel like he had his best stuff Wednesday night, but he still managed to have a relatively easy time against the New York Yankees.

Tillman recorded his 11th quality start in his last 13 outings, allowing just two runs and five hits in seven strong innings, striking out three batters and walking none in the Orioles' 5-3 win. In three starts against the Yankees this season, Tillman is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA.

“You know what? It wasn’t very good for me tonight,” Tillman said. “I knew coming in from the get-go it was going to be a grind. Hats off to Nicky [Hundley] for hanging in there with me. It was a battle throughout, but fortunately made some pitches. Had some stuff. I was able to get ahead and pitch off that.”

Tillman has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 13 consecutive starts, a career-high.

“It's not up to me, but I thought his outing was one of the keys to the game,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He stayed engaged, and you could tell their starter [Michael Pineda] was in good form.”

Even though Tillman left the game trailing, 2-1, the Orioles came back with four runs in the eighth on Jonathan Schoop’s game-tying solo homer and Adam Jones’ three-run blast.

Tillman made just one mistake on the night, a 3-2 hanging curveball in the third inning that Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli sent into the left-field seats for a two-run homer.

After allowing a two-out single to Chase Headley in the fourth inning, Tillman went on to retire the final 10 batters he faced.

Over Tillman’s last 11 starts, he is 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA and nine quality starts. He has also issued just two walks over his last four starts, a span of 25 2/3 innings.

“It’s important,” Tillman said of reducing his walks. “I think as a starting pitcher, the more guys you walk, the more your chances go down. You’ve got to pitch around some stuff, but I know what I think. You’ve got to get ahead and stay ahead. That’s our mentality. I think that Cervelli home run early; that goes to show how important every pitch is. You can’t take a break.”

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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