Tillman's final 2010 start will come hours earlier than expected

He will pitch Game 1 of doubleheader versus Tigers

September 30, 2010|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

Chris Tillman will get his final start of the season today, but it will come earlier in the day than he expected.

Thursday's series opener against the Detroit Tigers was postponed due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole soaking the Mid-Atlantic region.

Because the season ends Sunday, the Orioles and Tigers will make up the postponement Friday afternoon in a rare one-admission doubleheader at Camden Yards. The first game will start at 4:35 p.m., with the second following 20 minutes after the first concludes.

Tillman (1-5, 6.56 ERA) was tentatively slated for tonight, but instead will pitch the opener against Detroit's Jeremy Bonderman.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-14, 3.98 ERA) was supposed to pitch Thursday night, but will instead make his last start of the season in the nightcap against Rick Porcello.

Today's games will be televised on MASN2 and broadcast on the Orioles' normal radio affiliates.

After the doubleheader, the Orioles will have two more contests remaining in 2010, with Brian Matusz pitching Saturday night and Brad Bergesen in the season finale Sunday afternoon.

Thursday's ticket exchange info

Tickets from Thursday's postponed contest can be exchanged for tickets of equal value for today's doubleheader. Those with tickets for today can use them for both ends of the doubleheader.

Parking passes for Thursday will be honored today at Lot B/C.

If Thursday's ticketholders cannot make itoday's doubleheader or the two other games remaining this season, they can exchange the tickets for non-prime games in April or May 2011 when they go on sale at a later date.

Those who purchased tickets for Thursday and live outside of a 75-mile radius of Camden Yards can send a refund request, as well as the original tickets, via certified mail to Baltimore Orioles, Attention: September 30 Rainout, 333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Koji's comeuppance

Since surrendering a game-winning homer to New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning on Sept. 17, reliever Koji Uehara has faced 15 batters in five outings and retired every one of them. Eleven of those 15 outs have come via strikeouts.

Uehara, who has 11 saves in 13 chances after securing Wednesday's 2-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, has now fanned 41 batters since he issued his last walk to the Toronto Blue Jays' Fred Lewis on July 16. That's the longest stretch of strikeouts between walks in the American League since Pedro Martinez fanned 49 batters without issuing a walk in 2000.

The 35-year-old Uehara, who is a pending free agent, also has set a club record by not walking a batter in 30 consecutive appearances spanning 32 innings. He went to a 3-2 count Wednesday against the Rays' Dan Johnson before striking him out.

Uehara faced six batters in the Tampa series and fanned five of them. Ben Zobrist was the only batter to make contact and he hacked at the first pitch, sending a harmless pop-up into the glove of center fielder Adam Jones.

Buck in elite class

ESPN baseball writer Jayson Stark recently crunched some numbers concerning Buck Showalter's start as manager of the Orioles, and found that the skipper is on the doorstep of history.

If the Orioles win two of their final four games, Showalter will reach 33 victories, one more than Dave Trembley and interim manager Juan Samuel combined for in 105 contests before Showalter took the helm.

According to Stark and Elias Sports Bureau, Showalter would become the first manager since 1900 to take over a team in August or later and record more wins than the club had previously posted that season. The Orioles were 32-75 when Showalter became manager.

The previous earliest date for a new manager to accomplish that feat was July 19, done by John McGraw of the New York Giants in 1902 and Don Zimmer of the Boston Red Sox in 1976.

Sun writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this report.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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