Baltimore at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: C. Tillman (4-2) L: J. Guthrie (2-3)
HR: BAL - C. Davis (3)   KC - None

Tillman goes distance as O's blank Royals wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Tillman paid no attention to the Baltimore bullpen as it started to stir in the ninth inning. After all, he had made it this far before. There was no way he was leaving the game now.

So after a leadoff single to start the inning, Tillman bore down against the Kansas City Royals. The young right-hander induced three straight groundouts to end the game, wrapping up a 4-0 victory for the Orioles and giving Tillman his first career shutout.

"I'll take more of them," he said, "but that's not my goal."

Maybe not. But it sure is nice.

Tillman came within two outs of a nine-inning complete game earlier this season, and he was incensed when he was pulled from an eventual 3-1 win over Detroit. He hadn't been any happier of late, either, after scuffling through his last five outings.

But behind a dastardly combination of curveballs, changeups and fastballs, Tillman (4-2) kept the offensively inept Royals off balance. He scattered five hits and a walk, his dominant outing coming one night after Wei-Yin Chen and four relievers combined to beat Kansas City 2-1.

Chris Davis homered and Steve Clevenger also drove in a run for the Orioles.

"This is Tillman's night," the Royals' Billy Butler said. "You've got to give him credit. He did his job today. He was locating, throwing all of his pitches. He did a heck of a job."

Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) bounced back from a lousy start to last eight innings against his former team. The Royals' starter allowed four runs, eight hits and a walk while striking out two.

While falling to 0-3 with four no-decisions in his last seven starts, Guthrie at least was able to save a bullpen that had been chewed up in that close loss the previous night.

"He threw the ball well. He really did," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

As for that offense, which has managed one run in the last two games?

"Offenses heat up, cool off," Yost said. "Right now we don't have anybody where I can sit back and say this boy is really swinging the bat well right now."

The game was played in a brisk 2 hours, 22 minutes, mostly because the starters were so effective. Tillman retired 13 of 14 batters after giving up a double to Norichika Aoki to start the game, and Guthrie only allowed a single by J.J. Hardy over the first three innings.

Baltimore finally got to Guthrie in the fourth, and it was partly his own doing.

Manny Machado led off by bunting back toward Guthrie, and he slipped while trying to field the ball. His hurried throw to first was wide of the bag for an error, and Machado trotted over to second base. Moments later, he headed for third when Guthrie threw a wild pitch.

Davis walked to put runners on the corners for Cruz, whose single drove in the game's first run. Clevenger then grounded into a fielder's choice to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

It remained that way until the sixth, when consecutive singles again put runners on the corners. Cruz then lofted a fly ball deep enough to center to bring home Adam Jones.

Davis added his third homer of the season with two outs in the eighth.

By that point, the only drama was whether Tillman would finish the game. The Orioles had two relievers up in the bullpen in the ninth, and the Royals got the leadoff man on base. But Tillman calmly got the next three batters to ground out to end the game.

"We talked to him between innings, like we always do. It was a lot of effort but there was no real stressful innings for him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We had guys up and there was a point he was coming out of the game, but he was not going to be denied."


The Orioles recalled RHP Brad Brach from Triple-A Norfolk and designated RHP Evan Meek for assignment. ... The Royals selected the contract of RHP Casey Coleman from Triple-A Omaha and designated OF Justin Maxwell for assignment. Coleman retired the side in the ninth. ... Baltimore RHP Bud Norris is scheduled to start Saturday. LHP Danny Duffy will start for Kansas City.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Chris Tillman is lights out on Friday, going the distance against the Royals for his first career shutout.  (USATSI)
Chris Tillman is lights out on Friday, going the distance against the Royals for his first career shutout. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

C. Tillman
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 3

C. Davis
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Baltimore Orioles (2:25)
Baltimore Orioles
Nick Markakis, RF4000002 .295
Manny Machado, 3B4110000 .203
Adam Jones, CF4110001 .279
Chris Davis, 1B3221100 .247
Nelson Cruz, DH3022000 .283
Steve Clevenger, C4001012 .259
J.J. Hardy, SS4010011 .262
Ryan Flaherty, 2B4000001 .195
David Lough, LF4010001 .171
Chris Tillman, P0000000 .000
HR - Chris Davis (3, Guthrie)
SF - Nelson Cruz (1)
RBI - Chris Davis (15), Nelson Cruz 2 (37), Steve Clevenger (7)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Davis (7)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Flaherty-Hardy-Davis
Baltimore Orioles
Chris Tillman (W,4-2) 9500130 3.34
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Tillman 117-77
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Tillman 10-13
Batters Faced - Chris Tillman 32
Kansas City Royals
Norichika Aoki, RF4010003 .259
Eric Hosmer, 1B4010011 .301
Salvador Perez, C4000002 .269
Alex Gordon, LF4000012 .255
Billy Butler, DH4000001 .226
Johnny Giavotella, 2B3010000 .214
Mike Moustakas, 3B2000111 .158
Alcides Escobar, SS3010002 .286
Jarrod Dyson, CF3010001 .288
Jeremy Guthrie, P0000000 .000
   Casey Coleman, P0000000 .000
2B - Norichika Aoki (6, Tillman)
Team LOB - 5
E - Jeremy Guthrie (3, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Jeremy Guthrie (L,2-3) 8844121 4.76
Casey Coleman 1000000 0.00
WP - Jeremy Guthrie (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 116-79, Casey Coleman 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 9-13, Casey Coleman 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 33, Casey Coleman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25985
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Chris Segal, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Brian O'Nora