Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman takes 'step forward' in second spring start

March 03, 2013|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — Despite allowing a wind-aided, two-run homer to Michael Young in his third inning of work on Sunday afternoon against the Phillies, Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman said his second start felt much better than his first.

“A little bit of everything [was better],” Tillman said. “My timing was better. I had a little more command of my pitches. The first time out, I felt a little awkward. I felt much better this time and I’m happy with that.”

Tillman needed just 25 pitches to get through his first two innings of work, allowing just a pair of leadoff hits. He allowed another leadoff hit in the third, a Cesar Hernandez single. Three batters later, Young hit a ball to left-center field that drifted over the fence just in front of the flags blowing out.

“I made a bad pitch either way,” Tillman said when asked if he believed Young's homer was helped by the wind. “I guess I deserved it, but fortunately I finished a little bit better down in the zone. I think the wind is blowing for both teams.”

In his first outing of the spring Wednesday night against Boston, Tillman battled with his command and was unable to finish his second inning of work, hurt by two walks and one hit over 1 2/3 innings.

Both runs off Tillman Sunday came off Young’s homer. He allowed four hits, one walk and struck out three before he was removed after 2 2/3 innings because of pitch count.

“I would have liked to have finished that on a better note but I felt like I got better as I went and even my offspeed kind of came on there towards the end after that first hit in the third inning,” Tillman said. “I definitely come out of this with a positive mindset and I think I took a step forward today.”

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