Just give him the ball every fifth day and watch him work. That is pretty much what Oriole manager Buck Showalter has been doing with RHP Chris Tillman since July 4th, 2012 in Seattle.
Since that day, Tillman has rewarded Showalter and the Orioles by going 38-16 and becoming the ace of the Baltimore rotation.
For the second-straight season, Tillman got the call as the Opening Day starter for the Orioles and, of course, did what normally he does. He pitched well and got a victory. Tillman allowed only one run in 6.2 IP as the Birds beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 at The Trop.
Tillman gave up four hits with three walks and four K’s as the Orioles won their fifth-consecutive season opener. Baltimore has been on roll on Opening Day as they have now won 12 of the last 15.
LF Alejandro De Aza, 1B Steve Pearce and SS Ryan Flaherty all bashed HR’s to back five Oriole pitchers. RF Travis Snider made an impression in his Baltimore debut by going 3-for-4 with two RBI’s. He also threw James Loney out at the plate.
Not a bad first game for the Birds who are looking for their four-straight winning campaign. This season’s team is also trying to become the first Baltimore club to repeat as AL East Champs since Earl Weaver’s Orioles did it back in 1973-74.
If the 2015 Baltimore Orioles want to achieve all of their goals, they are going to need Chris Tillman to do his job. Thankfully, his track record says that is something they can definitely rely on.