BALTIMORE For much of the season, Baltimore Orioles starter Chris Tillman has avoided defeat in games in which he was terribly ineffective.
So Tillman had no reason to complain after one of his finest performances of the season produced his first loss in nearly a month.
Pitching through two rain delays, Tillman allowed only seven singles over six innings in a 1-0 defeat Tuesday night.
In his previous start, Tillman gave up five runs and got only three outs yet didn’t figure in the decision. During his winless run, the right-hander yielded six runs in one outing and eight in another, yet didn’t take the loss.
His run of luck took a turn in his one, when Tillman (5-3) was outpitched by Brandon Workman.
Workman (1-0) gave up one hit in 6 1-3 innings, walked one and struck out four to earn his first win as a starter since last July. The right-hander held the Orioles hitless until Ryan Flaherty lined a soft single to center with two outs in the sixth.
Baltimore’s only other hit was a single by Steve Pearce in the ninth off Koji Uehara, who earned his 13th save.
And Tillman? Well, he was better than last time but just not quite good enough in absorbing his first loss in five starts since May 11.
“Yeah, I was able to executive pitches when I needed to when I got into trouble,” he said. “Later in the game I was executing most of my pitches. So it was good to see it coming. Especially felt better as I went, so that’s promising.”
Manny Machado started at third base for the Orioles despite receiving a five-game suspension and a fine for intentionally throwing his bat in Sunday’s game against Oakland. Machado appealed the suspension, batted second and went 0 for 4, making the final out on a strikeout.
Both rain delays occurred in second inning. The first stoppage took 15 minutes; the second lasted 1:18.
Tillman got off to a rocky start following the second delay. Brock Holt led off the third with a single, David Ortiz walked and Mike Napoli delivered a two-out, opposite-field RBI single to right.
“Unfortunate, because the run he gave up was on a flare to right,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He didn’t give up many hard-hit balls.”
Boston used three straight singles to load the bases with no outs in the fourth. Tillman struck out Holt, then got Xander Bogaerts to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play.
Over the first four innings, the Red Sox had seven hits and three walks but scored only the one run after stranding seven and hitting into two double plays.
It didn’t matter, because Workman was that good.
He retired the first 13 batters before Nelson Cruz drew a walk. J.J. Hardy followed with a popup to second base, and Cruz apparently lost track of the ball or outs in the inning. He took off for second and was easily doubled up.
“It’s no excuse,” Cruz said. “I should know better. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Workman will have a hearing Friday on his appeal of a six-game suspension. He was suspended after the league determined he was intentionally throwing in the “head area” of Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria on May 30.
If this was his last outing for a while, he sure went out in style. After retiring Nick Markakis to end the sixth inning, Workman got two straight outs in the seventh before being lifted.
It was the longest outing of a 27-game career that includes seven starts.
“He was outstanding, especially in light of the two different rain delays,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “He was able to stay loose with a couple of almost simulated innings in the batting cage.”