Tillman flawless in O's loss to Pirates

Pirates 5, Orioles 3

Starter throws two perfect innings, strikes out three

March 05, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec | jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

SARASOTA, Fla. — Chris Tillman pitched two perfect innings, Garrett Atkins had two hits and Adam Jones connected for an opposite-field home run in the Orioles' 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night before 4,187 at Ed Smith Stadium.

With the Orioles leading 3-2 with two outs in the eighth, Troy Patton allowed a game-tying solo homer to Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez. The Pirates then broke the tie with two runs in the ninth off Alfredo Simon as Delwyn Young had an RBI single and Jose Tabata plated an insurance run with a sacrifice fly.

Tillman struck out three and threw 22 of his 33 pitches for strikes, showing no signs of the back soreness that bothered him earlier in spring training.

"It was a good day's work," Tillman said. "Obviously, I could have gone a little more. I felt strong even the last couple pitches of the [second] inning. I felt good."

Closer Mike Gonzalez allowed a run in his Orioles debut, walking one and giving up two hits, including an RBI single by Aki Iwamura that tied the game at one in the third inning.

"My arm felt great and I got out of it healthy, that's all you can ask for," Gonzalez said. "First outing, you're going to see wild high a few times. I'm just taking it a pitch at a time. It takes a little adjusting. That's why you throw 10 or 11 innings."

Jones gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead with a solo homer off Pirates right-hander Daniel McCutchen. The Pirates tied the game in the top of the fifth on Garrett Jones' RBI groundout off Jake Arrieta. The Orioles prospect struggled in one inning of work, walking two and allowing a single.

The Orioles regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth as two Pittsburgh errors contributed to Blake Davis scoring on Robert Andino's groundout.

Davis and Andino were both late additions to the lineup after Justin Turner (left foot contusion) and Cesar Izturis (sick) were scratched.

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