Tillman and Jimenez will start vs. Jays
Both have struggled in Toronto, but will have an extra day’s rest
TORONTO — As the Orioles play a pivotal series in Toronto, their playoff hopes will hinge on two starters who have struggled at Rogers Centre.
Manager Buck Showalter announced the next two starters for this series: Right-hander Chris Tillman will start tonight and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will go in the series finale Thursday night. Tillman and Jimenez will start on one extra day of rest, a luxury afforded by the Orioles’ having six available starters.
“We’re fortunate to have a lot of guys pitching fairly well right now and I think it’s important to give guys some extra time if you can,” Showalter said.
Tillman will be making his first start since his shortest outing of the year, a 12⁄ inning start Thursday that completed a four-game home sweep of the Orioles by the Boston Red Sox and raised questions about whether Tillman had recovered fully from the shoulder bursitis that placed him on the disabled list.
Tillman and Showalter have repeatedly said that Tillman is as healthy as he can be for the final week of the season.
“Tilly is one of those guys,” Showalter said. “I would never sell him short. Usually, those types of things, I’ve seen him get right back on the horse real quick. Physically, going into the game, he’s fine, other than the wear and tear of a season, like anybody.”
Tillman is 2-6 with a 7.51 ERA in 12 career starts at Rogers Centre. He fell one out short of a quality start in his most recent appearance in Toronto, holding the Blue Jays to two runs on five hits over 52⁄ innings July 31.
Jimenez’s last start at Rogers Centre was his shortest of the season. He lasted just a third of an inning, allowing five runs on six hits in a 10-9 loss June 12. That led to his being sent to the bullpen for the first of two times.
However, over his past six starts — since he recaptured a rotation spot when Tillman went on the disabled list — Jimenez has a 2.85 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .186 batting average.
“You look at his last six starts and they’re about as good as you want to see,” Showalter said.
Left-hander Wade Miley, who was away from the team for the birth of his baby boy Tuesday, is scheduled to rejoin the club in New York, where he could start Friday or Saturday against the Yankees.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo would also be in line to pitch in New York, and right-hander Kevin Gausman could slot into the regular-season finale at Yankee Stadium, where he has a1.32 ERAin two starts. Gausman is 2-1with a 0.80 ERAin five starts against the Yankees overall. Tillman Jimenez Jones: ‘We’re playing with house money’: Before Tuesday night’s series opener, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was energized about arriving at Rogers Centre with the opportunity to tie the Blue Jays for the top American League wild-card spot with a win. The Orioles entered the night trailing Toronto by one game.
“A win for the Orioles opens the door for the Orioles,” Jones said before Tuesday night’s 5-1loss. “Wewinandwe control our owndestiny. You worry about others and you will not be in that destiny. We just need to handle what we can handle, control what we can control. I know it’s cliche and I’m not a real cliche kind of guy, but that’s just the truth with six games to go. We’re playing with house money. Weweren’t supposed to be here. I think that’s been well documented by PECOTAandall their predictions and all the experts who didn’t know they were one of the 19,000, but they’re experts. We’re playing with house money. I think that’s how we all look at it. Now let’s go do something with it.” Around the horn: Closer Zach Britton’s save Sunday was the 14th in which he entered the game with a one-run lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only pitcher in the majors to have saved more than three games with a one-run lead without a blown save. … The Orioles are 7-10 against the Blue Jays this season.
Starters: Miley (9-13, 5.40) or TBA vs. Yankees’ Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.78) or TBA