By Matt Snyder
In his first start of the 2011 season, 22-year-old starting pitcher Chris Tillman threw six hitless innings against the Rays. He was pulled due to a high pitch-count for this time of year (he walked three people and was admittedly "inefficient" with his pitches).
His second outing came Thursday night, and he only lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, four earned runs and two walks. Most troubling for the Orioles was that Wednesday night they needed 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, after a short outing by Brad Bergesen. The mighty Texas Rangers' offense comes to town Friday, and the Baltimore relief corps is going to have some pretty tired arms.
As for Tillman, his ability falls in between the two outings. Obviously with a young talent like his, we're going to see inconsistencies. An outing like he had Thursday isn't overly troubling, aside from the pitch count. He threw 97 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. It's been a problem in each of his first two starts. He's got to find a way to limit his work in the early innings and give himself a chance to work later into the game.
Tillman was spared the loss, as the Orioles' offense kicked into high gear after his departure. The O's put seven runs on the board in the sixth and seventh innings combined. Adam Jones homered and drove in three, while Mark Reynolds also had three RBI.
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