Despite allowing eight hits and two home runs, Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman stymied a powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup just enough to post another quality start in the Orioles’ 8-5 win Friday.
Tillman allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out five to earn his team-leading 11th win of the season. That total ties him for sixth in the major leagues with St. Louis’ Lance Lynn.
“He's capable of spinning a real good game out there, if we can just get his pitch count down a little bit,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He has a somewhat unorthodox delivery which makes him effective. There's some moving parts there. Once he gets that part out of it where he consistently repeats his delivery, there's a lot of things he can accomplish as a pitcher.”
Tillman posted his sixth quality start in the past eight games and 12th overall this year. He’s 20-6 since June 25, 2012, good for the second-highest winning percentage among starters over that time period behind Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer, who’s 23-2 in that span.
“I think I’m definitely happy with it,” Tillman said. “I think there’s room for improvement definitely. I definitely want to get better and at the same time you’ve got to be happy with it and kind of ride it out, roll with it, kind of go into the break with the right attitude and go from there.”
Tillman managed to avoid trouble against a dangerous Blue Jays lineup. Tillman did give up home runs to catcher J.P.Arencibia in the second inning and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion in the third, but he struck out right fielder Jose Bautista three times, part of an 0-for-5 performance with four strikeouts.
“We're lucky to have him, he's been pretty consistent for us and given us a chance to win every time he goes out there,” Showalter said. “He's come a long way as a pitcher and a person. I'm proud of him.”