If right-hander Chris Tillman is indeed the Orioles¿ ace, if he is indeed a bona fide top starter who can walk into any situation against any club and succeed, than he had the perfect opportunity to prove it Thursday night at Fenway Park.
Leading by two runs in the seventh, the Orioles bullpen allowed the Red Sox to tie it and then Tommy Hunter gave up a go-ahead bloop single to Mike Carp in the bottom of the eight as Boston rallied for a 4-3 win.
Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen had never thrown fewer than four innings or given up more than seven runs in any of his starts as a major leaguer. He picked a particularly inopportune time to do both.
The Orioles (58-48) had dominated Boston, winning nine of their past 10 series against Boston heading into the weekend, but their bats went cold over the past two games with runners in scoring position.
When L.J. Hoes was called up to the Orioles last September, it was to learn. The Orioles were in the heat of the playoff race, and Hoes -- the team's 2012 minor league player of the year -- was on the periphery.
With a masterful, 6-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night that snapped a three-game losing streak for the Orioles, the 25-year-old Tillman (13-3) became the first Oriole since lefty Erik Bedard in 2007 to win at least 13 games in a season. He¿s the first to hit the mark in July since Sidney Ponson won No. 13 on July 10, 2003.
The evolution of Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman continued on Friday night with a statistical gem that was an obvious struggle. In the Orioles¿ 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in front of a nearly packed house, Tillman did what good pitchers are supposed to do.
The Orioles' 5-4 win in 13 innings over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night featured a potential future ace, one of the game¿s current top hitters and one of the best power hitters of the past decade.
Dylan Bundy got the start, but Kevin Gausman had the smoother and more eye-popping outing as the duo combined to allow just one unearned run through five innings in the Orioles' 5-2 win at JetBlue Park.
The American League East has long been considered one of baseball's toughest divisions, and that should hold true again in 2013. But it's no longer a division dominated by a couple high-spending teams and the occasional upstart. Suddenly, the AL East is being recognized for its depth.