I'm starting to think I jinxed "the Cavalry" last week when I wrote a glowing column about the performance of the young Orioles starters in the weeks leading up to the All-Star break.

Brian Matusz allowed six runs in the second inning of Sunday's 10-1 loss to the Jays, which sparked talk of a demotion. Last night, Chris Tillman coughed up a career-high eight runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Rays. He just got sent down to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for either Kevin Millwood or Michael Gonzalez (hey, at least that means Matusz is safe for now).

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I suppose Tillman's demotion is what's best at the moment for the Orioles, but if they're going to send down Tillman {photo by The Baltimore Sun} again, they should keep him there until they're certain he can stick in the majors.

Being yo-yoed between Norfolk and Baltimore can't help the psyche of the 22-year-old.

Anyway, the way things have gone for his fellow Cavalrymen since I cursed them with my column, Jake Arrieta should probably be praying for a rain-out right now — just to be safe.

Alas, the sun is peaking through the clouds outside, so he'll probably just stretch out and listen to his iPod.

If you put more stock in stats than superstition, there's good news: Arrieta has allowed just five runs combined in three July starts. We'll see if he can keep it going tonight against the ruthless Rays.

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