Orioles: Tillman tosses three shutout innings

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Tillman has been one of the forgotten Baltimore Orioles this spring. After three erratic seasons and lots of trips between Baltimore and Norfolk, Tillman was given little chance of making the club. He's one of perhaps a dozen candidates to land in the rotation.

After his first outing, a messy two innings last Tuesday against Boston, he got another shot at the Red Sox on Sunday.

This time, he pitched well, allowing one hit in three innings in the Orioles' 6-1 loss to Boston before 8,316 at Ed Smith Stadium.

Tillman didn't start the game. Dana Eveland did. Eveland also started the first game Tillman pitched in.

Eveland didn't make the three innings manager Buck Showalter wanted him to throw. He was pulled after two-when he allowed three runs-two of them unearned-and six hits.

After Zach Phillips pitched the third inning, Tillman pitched the fourth, fifth and sixth, and his fastball was crackling, reaching 95 mph. And best of all, the 23-year-old who has teased the team since being acquired along with Adam Jones and George Sherrill in 2008, didn't walk a batter.

"Chris is not scared," manager Buck Showalter said. "There's no deer in the headlights with him."

Eveland, who is out of options, may be running out of time. In four innings, he's already given up eight hits.

"Spring training's not that long. I don't have a ton of opportunities," Eveland said.

He was hard on himself when asked to evaluate his performance.

"Not very good. I threw way too many pitches and gave up way too many hits," Eveland said.

WIETERS RENEWED: The Orioles signed 17 players to one-year contracts . One player had his contract renewed: Matt Wieters. The team and Wieters couldn't agree on a contract.

He declined to reveal the figure.

Wieters, who won't be eligible for arbitration until next year, said that he wasn't upset with the club.

"I'm not disappointed," Wieters said. "Your first three years, the team can pay you whatever they want."

In his second full season with the club, Wieters earned $452,500 last year.

He'll be eligible for arbitration next year.

Wieters said that his agent, Scott Boras, and the Orioles have not explored a long-term agreement. He's eligible for free agency following the 2015 season.

"Free agency is a long way away." Wieters said. "I'm just worried about getting ready for this year."

The players who signed contracts were Ryan Adams, Jake Arrieta, Josh Bell, Jason Berken, Zach Britton, Chris Davis, Oliver Drake, Ryan Flaherty, Tommy Hunter, Joe Mahoney, Troy Patton, Zach Phillips, Nolan Reimold, Alfredo Simon, Pedro Strop, Taylor Teagarden and Chris Tillman.

IF NOT A, THEN B: The Orioles and Red Sox played a B game on a back field at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday morning. Showalter used the game to give Tommy Hunter, Zach Britton, Jim Johnson and Willie Eyre their first game action. Hunter worked three innings-the others, two. Kevin Gregg and Dylan Bundy also worked in the game.

Johnson and Eyre are listed as pitchers for Wednesday's game.

FIRST CUTS: The Orioles sent five players to the Twin Lakes minor league complex after Sunday's game. Bundy and Manny Machado, the team's top prospects and the top picks in the last two drafts were sent down.

Machado played in seven games and went 1-for-6. Bundy pitched a scoreless inning against Boston. Outfielders Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes and catcher Brian Ward were also sent down.

OUCH: Reliever Darren O'Day suffered a groin injury and was scratched from his scheduled appearance on Sunday. Matt Lindstrom, who's had a back injury, continues to be sidelined with it. Showalter said he would probably avoid cutting additional pitchers for the time being.

COMING UP: The Orioles play Toronto at Dunedin on Monday. Wei-Yin Chen, Armando Galarraga, Pat Neshek, and Jon Link are scheduled to pitch.

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