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Baltimore Orioles Top Tampa Bay Rays 5-3; Chris Tillman Rebounds After Tough First Inning

May 7th, 2014 at 7:28 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles returned to the win column last night with a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays thanks to a good outing from Chris Tillman and a clutch RBI single by Ryan Flaherty.

'SAM_7759' photo (c) 2013, arctic_whirlwind - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

With the game tied at three in the top of the eighth and the bases loaded with one out, Flaherty came up with a clutch at bat and delivered a two strike RBI single through the hole on the right side for the eventual game winning run.

Nick Markakis would follow Flaherty with a RBI fielder's choice for huge insurance run, and closer Tommy Hunter loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but worked his way out of it and capped it off with a strikeout to give him his ninth save of the season and a 5-3 win for the O's.

Baltimore found itself in an early hole as Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman allowed a two-run home run to Evan Longoria in the first inning, but after that Tillman settled in and gave the O's their tenth quality start of the season. Tillman proceeded to toss five straight scoreless innings after the first, and was very economical with his pitch count.

Tillman faced two batters in the seventh, but was unable to retire either of them and was eventually charged with one run in that seventh inning, but when his night was done, Tillman tossed six plus innings, while allowing three runs on five hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Although he got the no decision and his record remained at 3-1, the most important stat surrounding Tillman is that the Orioles are 6-1 this season when he pitches.

Darren O'Day (1-0) picked up the win in relief, while Zach Britton tossed a scoreless eighth as well.

'Ryan Flaherty' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Orioles offense used three straight one run innings to erase the two run deficit and take a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Steve Pearce got the Orioles on the board in the third inning with his first home run of the season, a solo bomb, while a JJ Hardy sac fly in the fourth inning tied the game at two. Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning and Adam Jones delivered a sac fly with one out to give the O's a 3-2 lead.

Overall, the Orioles did not cash in at a high rate with runners in scoring position (2-10), but were at least able to score one run in the fourth and fifth innings when they loaded the bases. Nelson Cruz (2-5, run scored), Matt Wieters (2-5, run scored) and Flaherty (2-4, double, RBI) all had multi-hit games to lead the offense.

Baltimore will look to secure a series win tonight as they send Bud Norris (2-2) to mound to face Cesar Ramos (1-1) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.


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