Tillman, Orioles beat White Sox for 3rd win in row
CHICAGO — The Baltimore Orioles moved 20 games over .500 thanks to another strong pitching performance from Chris Tillman. Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t exactly ready to celebrate the milestone.
“We’re one closer to getting through 38 and being in the playoffs. That’s what it means,” Showalter said after the 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night. “But you just keep playing the games. Keep playing the games. They inch along this time of year and you don’t spend a lot of time watching other scoreboards.
“You spend the time watching your own scoreboard.”
On Tuesday, the American League East-leading Orioles had control of the scoreboard thanks to their starting pitcher.
Tillman (10-5) threw eight strong innings and matched a career high with nine strikeouts, giving up one run and three hits. He won for the third time this month as Baltimore improved to 38-26 away from Camden Yards as Tillman and reliever Tommy Hunter held Chicago without a hit after the third inning.
Nick Hundley homered, Chris Davis had a two-run double and Adam Jones and Delmon Young also drove in runs for the Orioles, whose lead in the division ballooned to 8 1-2 games over the New York Yankees and nine over the Toronto Blue Jays.
And Tillman is starting to think the Orioles could be headed to big things in October.
“This time of year, you have to. I think, especially if you’re playing good baseball,” Tillman said. “We’re playing a good brand of baseball right now, guys are showing up to the field ready to play every day, so it’s fun.”
Tillman’s lone mistake came in the first when he allowed Jose Abreu’s 32nd home run, tying the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the most in baseball. The homer was Abreu’s first of the month on a night the White Sox offense couldn’t generate much.
“(Tillman) was just locating with all of his pitches,” Chicago outfielder Jordan Danks said.” That’s something he does on a regular basis.”
Jose Quintana (6-10) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings. Chicago matched a season worst by falling eight games below .500 and has scored just three runs in the series with a Baltimore team whose pitching has impressed Sox manager Robin Ventura.
“You look at where they’re sitting, they have to be able to pitch well to do that, especially in the division that they’re in, playing against a lot of home-run hitting teams,” Ventura said. “They pitch well, not only the starters but their bullpen, too.”
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy played his fifth straight game after missing three with a sprained left thumb.
White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia started his fourth straight game since coming off the disabled list Saturday with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He was 0 for 3.
Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen (12-4, 3.76) is scheduled to start Wednesday. He is winless in his previous three outings.
White Sox: RHP Hector Noesi (7-8, 4.84) is scheduled to make his 21st start of the season. Since joining the White Sox, he has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 4.84.
Showalter said Ubaldo Jimenez (4-9, 4.83) is moving to the bullpen. With right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (6-6, 3.80) expected to be recalled soon after throwing a 75-pitch simulated game Monday for Double-A Bowie, the Orioles needed to clear a spot in the rotation for his impending return.
White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge between the third and fourth innings. Harrelson, 72, had a bucket dumped on him by the Sox mascot and also Jim Thome, and then challenged MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac, Oakland Athletics announcer Ray Fosse, and Sox trainer Herm Schneider.
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast