Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman was highly rested coming into Monday night’s game against the visiting Texas Rangers. The 29-year-old right hander hadn’t pitched since June 30, when he went five innings in no decision against the Rays. The 17 days of rest proved to help Tillman record one of his best outings of the season (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K’s), as the Orioles snapped a three-game skid in the 3-1 win against the Rangers on Monday night at Camden Yards.
Tillman is now 1-5 on the season with a 7.20 ERA and recorded the Orioles’ first quality start since Kevin Gausman did so against Tampa Bay on July 2. The only red flag from Tillman’s appearance were his four walks, one of which lead to his only earned run.
The bullpen also worked well, with Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens, and Brad Brach combining for three strong innings of one-hit baseball. The trio locked the game down in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, with Bleier earning the win, but not without a bit of excitement.
In the top of the seventh, Rangers’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a sharp shot back up the middle to Bleier, who gloved it and spurred a double-play to get out of the inning.
On the offensive side of things, Manny Machado went 3-for-3 to set the pace for the night. He increased his average to .238 on the season. Jonathan Schoop sent Adam Jones home on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, tying the game even though it appeared as if Jones left third base a split second too early. In the seventh, Seth Smith hit a go-ahead home run to straight-away center field. The Orioles then took the lead when Ruben Tejada’s single plated Welington Castillo.
The Orioles improved to 43-49, while the Rangers fell to 45-47. Tuesday night’s game will pit Dylan Bundy (8-8, 4.33 ERA) against Tyson Ross (2-1, 5.33 ERA) in a duel between two right handed pitchers.