FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fifth starter candidate Chris Tillman gave up three runs in the first inning of his second exhibition start but said afterward that the results were not indicative of the quality of his performance in the Orioles' 6-5 split-squad loss to the Boston Red Sox at City of Palms Park.
"I felt great in that first inning," Tillman said. "We made some minor adjustments in my last side session, and what better time to try them?
I went out there with a game plan. I went out there to work on some things."
He allowed four hits in that first inning, including an RBI single by Kevin Youkilis and a two-run single by J.D. Drew. He opened the second inning by plunking Jason Varitek but retired the next six batters in order to complete his three innings of work.
"The two pitches to J.D. Drew and Youkilis, they were really the only ones that got away," he said. "Even the ones to [Jacoby] Ellsbury and [Dustin] Pedroia [who opened the first with back-to-back singles], that's where I was going."
The Orioles got off to a slow start at the plate against Red Sox starter John Lackey, who retired nine straight batters after a leadoff single by Matt Angle in the first, but they scored two runs in the fifth inning on RBI hits by Robert Andino and Cesar Izturis and added single runs in each of the next three innings to take the lead.
Nolan Reimold tied the score with an RBI double in the seventh, and Brendan Harris gave the Orioles the lead with a sacrifice fly after Josh Bell opened the eighth inning with a triple.
The Red Sox came back to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth, and Yamaico Navarro drove home the winning run off reliever Mark Worrell with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth.