BALTIMORE (AP) — It’s difficult to find good things to say about the way Chris Tillman has pitched this season for the Baltimore Orioles.
Tillman and manager Buck Showalter did their best to put an encouraging spin on the right-hander’s latest outing after the Tampa Bay Rays rolled to a 9-5 victory Sunday.
Tillman (2-7) gave up six runs, five earned, and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He kept the Orioles close until the fifth, when the Rays mounted a four-run uprising with two outs.
“I’ve had my ups and downs,” Tillman acknowledged. “I feel like we are headed in the right direction. I saw a lot of positives today. I think the negatives kind of overwhelm it, but I think we are getting somewhere. I just got to make the last big step and we will be all right.”
Tillman went 16-7 in 2013 and 13-6 last year. This season, however, has not been pretty.
“Chris is a 27-year-old man with a lot of success behind him,” Showalter said. “He’s very close, and he’s going to pitch good for us this year and hopefully for a long time. Keep that in mind. He was very close to having a real good outing today.”
Delmon Young and Manny Machado each hit two homers for the Orioles, who dropped two of three to Tampa Bay.
It was 2-all in the fifth when Tillman walked Evan Longoria with two outs. David DeJesus followed with an infield hit and Logan Forsythe singled in a run before Steve Souza Jr. sent a 3-2 pitch over the center-field wall.
DeJesus homered off Oliver Drake in the seventh, and Machado chased Rays starter Jake Odorizzi with a two-run drive in the bottom half.
Odorizzi (4-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander yielded three home runs — one more than in his previous 10 starts.
He came in with a 2.31 ERA but had lost three straight starts due primarily to lack of offensive backing. The Rays have tallied six runs in his five losses, and their output Sunday was more than in his previous four starts combined.
Odorizzi has gone at least six innings in 11 straight starts, tied for second place in the team record book behind James Shields (14).
After Young put the Orioles ahead in the first inning, Tampa Bay took the lead in the second.
Young connected again in the third to knot the score at 2. It was his fourth career multihomer game, the first since August 2011 with Minnesota.
The Rays collected three singles, two doubles and a pair of walks in the first four innings but went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
All that changed in the fifth, and Tampa Bay cruised to the finish.
“We didn’t capitalize on some opportunities,” manager Kevin Cash said, “but then Souza comes up with a huge hit to give us a little separation.”
Rays: OF Kevin Kiermaier struck out four consecutive times before hitting a double in the eighth inning.
Orioles: DH Jimmy Paredes struck out twice and is 1 for 20 with 11 Ks in his last five games.
Rays: 2B Gordon Beckham was placed on the 15-day DL. Beckham injured his hamstring Saturday and did not play Sunday. A corresponding move will be made Monday. … RHP Matt Moore (elbow surgery) could start this week in extended spring training or for Class A Charlotte, Cash said.
Orioles: CF Adam Jones missed a second straight game with a mild sprained left ankle. … Bud Norris (bronchitis) will pitch to Matt Wieters (elbow) for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.
Rays: Tampa Bay continues a 10-game road trip on the West Coast against the Angels on Monday.
Orioles: Baltimore leaves the Eastern time zone for the first time this season, facing the Astros in the opener of a four-game series.
(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)