SARASOTA, Fla. - It was role reversal for Chris Tillman and Dana Eveland. The first two times they pitched, Eveland started and Tillman relieved. On Friday, Tillman was the starter, and Eveland pitched out of the bullpen.
Tillman allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings, and Eveland threw three perfect ones in the Baltimore Orioles' 3-1 win over the Minnesota Twins before 5,908 at Hammond Stadium.
Tillman was supposed to throw four innings, but after he threw 51 pitches-28 of them strikes, manager Buck Showalter came out to get him.
Minor league pitcher Robert Hinton finished the inning, and Eveland threw the perfect three.
In Tillman's three appearances, he's allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings. He walked his first batter this spring, and struck out one.
Eveland has worked seven innings and allowed two earned runs.
"It's going well. I think I've made some adjustments, some mechanical adjustments. It's helping me already," Tillman said.
"I'm able to make the adjustments quicker and see exactly what I'm doing wrong and go from there."
Tillman is trying to erase the reputation as an erratic pitcher.
"It's always something I'm working on," he said.
He didn't necessarily feel better about starting the game rather than coming in to start the third or fourth innings.
"It's the same thing when you have that much time to get loose," Tillman said. "Pitching is pitching to me. It's different, but it felt good."
Showalter has been complimentary of Tillman lately.
"His stuff has been good. He's had some problems with not carrying what he's capable of early in the ballgame," he said. "I've been real impressed with his very crisp stuff."
It's probably unlikely that Tillman makes the team, but he's still left a positive impression.
"I feel good about where he is. His arm is a lot further along this year than it was last year," Showalter said.
POWERING UP: Robert Andino hit a long home run to left-center in the sixth for the Orioles. After a slow power start, they've now hit seven home runs. No player has more than one. Baltimore is still batting just .213.
STRIKING OUT: Jai Miller, trying to make the team as an outfielder, struck out two more times on Friday. He's now fanned 14 times in 28-at bats. He's walked once and has one home run. He also leads the team with seven RBI.
ROAD TRIP: With two consecutive road games, and split-squad games on Saturday and Sunday, Showalter brought his most representative lineup to Fort Myers. Robert Andino, Wilson Betemit, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds-all probable Opening Day starters-were the first six players in the batting order.
COMING UP: The Orioles and the Boston Red Sox play split-squad games on Saturday. At home, the Orioles are scheduled to pitch Wei-Yin Chen, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom and Pedro Strop while the Red Sox are scheduled to send out Aaron Cook, Doug Mathis, Will Inman and Clayton Mortenson.
In Fort Myers, Armando Galarraga, Brad Bergesen, Willie Eyre and Pat Neshek are scheduled to fact Josh Beckett, Ross Ohlendort, Junichi Tazawa, Michael Bowden and Chorye Spoone.
ODDS AND ENDS: Tsuyoshi Wada will throw 30 pitches against Atlanta on Sunday, Showalter said. ... Backup catcher John Hester threw out two runners trying to steal in the fourth inning. ... On Monday's off-day, the only one of the spring, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton will throw in a minor league game at Twin Lakes complex. ... Kevin Gregg, who has pitched just two innings this spring, and none since Mar. 8, says he's fine. ... Last year's second-round draft pick, Jason Esposito, who has yet to play pro ball, was in uniform, but didn't play.
Reach Times Correspondent Rich Dubroff at 410-857-7896 or firstname.lastname@example.org