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Orioles' Chris Tillman on quick hook: 'You've got to earn it'

The Astros scored five runs in the sixth inning on homers from Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman was cruising along with a 4-1 lead Saturday night until Josh Reddick doubled to center field with one out in the sixth inning and Yuli Gurriel lofted an opposite-field home run that barely cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.

Still, he seemed a bit surprised when manager Buck Showalter came out to get him.

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"I feel like I still had control of that ballgame," Tillman said, but he wasn't complaining. "I think that it's not what I think. It's what other people think. You've got to convince the hitters, too, and at the same time I really haven't earned it to tell you the truth. You've got to earn that, the right to keep the ball in that situation and I haven't."

The Orioles face the Astros at Camden Yards.

He's certainly getting closer to that point.

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He gave up just three runs on six hits and did not walk a batter, leaving with a lead that did not survive the inning. His record remained at 1-5 and his ERA improved to 7.01.

"I felt pretty good about it," said Tillman, who had given up just three earned runs over 11 innings in his previous two starts. "For the most part, I threw the ball pretty well. I was missing the breaking balls, but for the most part the other pitches were there for me when I needed them and I was able to make some good pitches with them."

Darren O'Day came on in relief and allowed two singles and a three-run home run in a brief outing that included a freak injury to Astros third baseman Colin Moran and a thrown bat that hit a child behind the Orioles dugout.

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