It wasn't a stellar outing by any means.
But Chris Tillman quieted some detractors with a solid outing Monday.
The talented but inconsistent young right-hander allowed three runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, falling to 0-2 in the process.
Tillman struck out five, and perhaps the most telling stat of all for him: no walks. He threw 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
The Orioles need Tillman to progress and to do so before the season grows old.
With left-hander Brian Matusz on the 15-day disabled list -- and likely at least a month away from re-joining the club -- and right-hander Justin Duchscherer doubtful to rejoin the club until June, at best, Tillman has a longer rope than most in his situation.
However, the Orioles only have so much time to let the former top prospect grow.
Tillman still has some trade value, and the Orioles have learned the hard way -- see Daniel Cabrera -- that waiting too long for a tall, promising pitcher can often set a rotation back significantly.
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