Clubhouse comments as Orioles beat Mariners


On Chris Tillman: "What did he have, three walks and a hit by pitch? It's just things a young pitcher has to figure out to get deeper in games. To be honest with all of us, you probably would have signed up in blood for that number of innings out of a starter with where we were in the bullpen. He was effective statistically in the in-game and giving us a chance to win. You knew runs were going to be at a premium with [Felix] Hernandez out there."


On allowing Tillman to throw career-high 112 pitches: "If he was holding his stuff and his command and there were some ground ball base hits like, for instance, off [Jason] Berken. And there weren't really better options physically, either. He had a pretty long leash tonight. I don't think he realized just how long it was going to be, especially in the second and third inning. One of those rare times when it's tough to protect a young pitcher tonight."

On quality of at-bats versus Hernandez: "There were a lot of quality at-bats. They didn't always show up with a base hit, but he gets so many outs with his slider that leaves the zone. We didn't let him get too many of those tonight. He's such a total pitcher – fastball, slider, curveball, changeup – and talking to [bullpen coach and former Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair] in the advance meeting about the approach you have to have with those guys, there's a very fine margin of error. He's pretty special. Not many pitchers make a living out of getting you out of the strike zone and make the ball appear as a hittable pitch and it leaves the zone. He's one of those guys that can get you out of the strike zone, but when he does try to take you out of it, you can't let him. It's a lot easier said than done, believe me. He's been doing it for quite a while at a young age."


On playing so well against his former team (he's now 7-for-10 with five RBIs in two games): "I don't care about playing the Mariners anymore. The only thing that's cool is to still see Ichiro and some of the boys, my friends that get called up like Mike Wilson, some of the guys I played with. Besides that, they're another team now."

On whether it was special to get three hits off Harnandez: "It's special to get one hit off him. The guy is one of the best pitchers in baseball and we put some good at-bats together as a team against him."

On whether this is as confident as he's ever been: "I'm about as confident as I was eight years ago. I don't think that part has ever left me. It's not the results. Sometimes you can go out there and feel great and go 0-for-4, sometimes you feel a little lazy and get a couple of knocks. I'm trying to be as consistent as I can in the box and get a good pitch to hit and lay off all the BS they are trying to throw me."


On motivation against former team: "It felt good. First of all, it was good seeing those guys again, the few that are left. But I think that gave me a little extra boost, kind of wanted to stick it up their butts a little bit."

On getting out of sixth-inning jan: "That was huge. That was in the back of my mind all day, is that we have a worn out bullpen and I wanted to get deep in the game. I knew coming in, even in the first inning I knew, that was one of my objectives and something they wanted to see out of me. Just go deeper in the ballgame and I made some good pitches with guys on base to get there."

On importance of start: "I don't look at it that way. Every start is huge not matter what the opponent is, whether the situation is bad or not. All of us go out there and try to leave it on the field every day and personally every fifth day. It was a big one tonight."