Tillman flat; O’s trail for wild card
The Orioles arrived at the ballpark Thursday needing starting pitcher Chris Tillman to be the same guy who has thrown his body in front of just about every kind of Oriole adversity over the course of this season.
What they didn’t need at this time of crisis was for Tillman to show such a lack of command that it was hard not to wonder whether he really is completely healthy.
He lasted just 12⁄ innings, threw 62 pitches and allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, which is no way to start a game against $217 million lefthander David Price, even on a night when the Boston Red Sox ace wasn’t at his best.
The Red Sox simply kept the heat on and completed the devastating four-game sweep with a 5-3 victory before an announced 26,788 at Camden Yards that knocked the Orioles out of the second wild-card slot after the Detroit Tigers earned a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in the nightcap of their doubleheader in Minneapolis.
Tillman came back from a three-week battle with bursitis in his pitching shoulder to deliver a pair of solid starts, but he struggled with his command and allowed eight of the 13 batters he faced to reach base. When he walked back-to-back hitters with two outs in the second to force home the third Red Sox run, manager Buck Showalter had seen enough.
He brought on long reliever Vance Worley, who got out of the jam and worked 31⁄ solid innings while the Orioles tried to figure out Price.
They’ll probably have to ask rookie Trey Mancini, who got them back into the game with a game-tying three-run home run in the third and tried to help overcome a one-run Red Sox lead with a leadoff double in the sixth, but didn’t get farther than second base.
Price completed seven innings and allowed those three runs on six hits and two walks. He’s 17-8 with a 3.91 ERA.
Mancini’s three-run blast single-handedly ended a string of five games in which the Orioles had scored two runs or fewer, but the Red Sox’s late-season roll was not to be stopped. They have won eight straight games since Kevin Gausman shut them out Sept. 14 at Fenway Park. Mancini’s power trip: Late callup Mancini made his second start of the season Thursday and mashed his second home run — the three-run shot off Price in the third inning bringing the Orioles back from an early 3-0 deficit. The crowd clamored for Mancini to take his second curtain call in two starts, but he remained in the dugout. One curtain call in a losing streak apparently is enough. But just to show it was no fluke, Mancini doubled off Price in his next at-bat.
Manager Buck Showalter relieves starting pitcher Chris Tillman after 12⁄ innings. Tillman allowed three runs on five hits and three walks.