Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman went five innings and allowed one unearned run in his final spring start Friday, a 6-1 exhibition win over the State College of Florida.
Tillman, who was placed on the disabled list with abdominal soreness, said he supported the Orioles decision to place him there to start the season.
“It is what it is," Tillman. "I was hurt. I did miss an amount of time enough time to not get ready for one of the early games. I don’t disagree with it."
Tillman, who threw 81 pitches against SCF on Friday, allowed one unearned run on two hits with six strikeouts and two walks. One of those hits was by Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, who led off the first five innings for the Manatees in order to get some extra at-bats. Tillman also struck out Markakis in his final three at bats.
Markakis was 1-for-4 with a walk.
Since being scratched from a Grapefruit League start on March 9, Tillman hasn't pitched in a Grapefruit League game. He made just two Grapefruit League starts this spring, pitching just 4 1/3 innings against major league competition.
That doesn't worry Tillman.
“I don’t think so," he said. "I got a good read today with Nicky. He talked to me after we faced each other and told me pretty much everything is really good."
Instead, Tillman has built up his innings in minor league and simulated games. Tillman's DL stint can be backdated and he willl activated before his scheduled start on April 6 against the Twins at Camden Yards.
After coming out of the game Friday, Tillman finished by throwing additional pitches in the bullpen
“I think I’m ready, especially after today," Tillman said. "Big step for me. It’s not the matter of pitches. It’s the number of times you get up and down. That’s a big reason I got up one more time in the bullpen.”
Left-hander T.J. McFarland threw four perfect innings in relief Friday, striking out six.
Urrutia plays at Ed Smith
Cuban defector Henry Urrutia had two hits in his first game in a big league atmosphere as he started in the Orioles’ exhibition against the State College of Florida at Ed Smith Stadium.
Urrutia just joined the organization earlier this month. Visa issues kept him stranded in Haiti for the past eight months after he signed a $778,500 bonus in July. He went 2-for-4 in the game Friday with two singles and two ground outs.
Urrutia hasn’t played competitively in two years, so the Orioles are pacing him slowly. It’s still unclear where in the minor league system he will open the season. When the team signed him in July, it planned to start him at Double-A Bowie.
Urrutia still has some work visa paperwork to complete before he’s able to play a game for an affiliate, which could prevent him from being placed on a minor league Opening Day roster.
Around the horn
Minor leaguer Buck Britton hit a two-run double, and Travis Adair, the son of Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair, hit a solo homer in the Orioles’ 6-1 exhibition win over the State College of Florida, a local junior college. Lew Ford also added two hits and an RBI, and Russ Canzler drove in a run. … Left-hander Brian Matusz, who was slated to pitch Friday, is now expected to pitch in Saturday’s spring finale against the Mets. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens could also pitch in that game. … The Orioles released minor-leaguer Adam Greenberg on Friday.