After an off day on Monday and a postponed game last night, the Orioles took on the New York Yankees tonight and got going just a bit too late in the game. Chris Tillman took the mound for the Orioles, with AJ Burnett on for the Yankees. Neither guy had stellar numbers on their final line, but Tillman definitely showed some worrisome struggles right out of the gate.
Tillman opened up the game by letting up five hits in the 1st inning, including an Alex Rodriguez home run, followed by a three run 2nd inning in which he let up four hits and a walk before being replaced by recently called up RHP Chris Jakubauskas. Tillman continued to only show velocity on his straight fastball in the 87-90 MPH range, and his curveball, though better than it was in his last start, seemed ineffective without a threatening fastball. As Jim Palmer said in the 2nd inning when Tillman couldn’t get out of the inning: “You need them to respect your fastball.”
Jakubauskas gave the Birds three and a third innings of solid work out of the pen, allowing just a solo home run to Jorge Posada. Brad Bergesen (who is scheduled to make Sunday’s start in Cleveland) followed with two perfect innings, striking out two and inducing three ground balls. Jeremy Accardo finished the game on the mound for the O’s, pitching a scoreless 8th where he let up a hit and a walk.
Though the Orioles did score four runs on the night, they did not come until the 7th inning when it seemed to be too little too late. Up until that time, Burnett had thrown six innings to start out with, allowing only four hits and a walk. He found trouble in the 7th inning when he let up a two run home run to Matt Wieters, walked Robert Andino, and gave up another two run shot to Brian Roberts. This took away his quality start and also pushed him out of the game, ending with only six and a third innings of work.
Those four runs showed to be the Orioles only four on the night, and the Orioles went on to lose the game, 4-7. The lineup got to face new Yankees set up man Rafael Soriano as well as Mariano Rivera, both of which shut the bats down to finish it for the Yankees.
Matt Wieters had a very impressive night, going 2-3 with a double, the HR, and a walk. He also threw out Brett Gardner in the 1st inning, one of the quickest guys in the league, with a perfect throw to Roberts,which most likely saved Tillman from another run.
Mark Reynolds also had a solid night, going 2-4 with two doubles. Mark Reynolds now leads the team in batting average at .273, and hosts a very respectable OPS of .867. Brian Roberts now leads the team in HRs (3) and RBIs (10) as well.
The Orioles finish the two game series tomorrow at Yankee Stadium at 7:05, where Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Orioles, facing Phil Hughes of the Yankees.