BALTIMORE: Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman did not make the American League All-Star team this year, but he will head into the midseason break as one of only six pitchers in the majors with 12 victories.
He held the Los Angeles Angels to just three hits over seven innings as the O’s took the series with a 4-2 victory before 32,963 on warm and humid Sunday afternoon (Monday in Manila) at Camden Yards.
Tillman clearly bruised his All-Star credentials with a recent three-start slump during which he allowed 14 earned runs over 14 2/3 innings, but came back to pitch well in his final two starts of the non-mathematical first half, giving up just two runs on eight hits over 14 innings.
He gave up a first-inning RBI double to Angels slugger Mike Trout and then never looked back, allowing just two singles over the next six innings in a 106-pitch performance that featured 61 strikes. The Orioles are now 16-3 in his 2016 starts.
What offensive help Tillman needed came in the fourth inning, when Mark Trumbo led off with a single off Angels starter Tim Lincecum and Chris Davis blasted his 22nd home run of the season. The Orioles added another run in the sixth when a pop fly by Pedro Alvarez dropped in shallow left field and J.J. Hardy sent Lincecum packing with a sharp single to center.
The Angels narrowed that two-run lead with a run off All-Star setup man Brad Brach, but the runner got into scoring position on a two-base error by Trumbo, so the run did not affect Brach’s sub-1.00 ERA.
Hardy would drive in another run, in the eighth inning, with his third homer of the year and first since April 12.
Alvarez finished with three hits for the fifth time this season and Adam Jones also delivered three hits.
Closer Zach Britton completed a near-perfect first half with a scoreless ninth inning to record his 27th save in 27 opportunities.
It was the Orioles’ second straight series victory over a Los Angeles team and it kept them two games ahead of the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the American League East standings. They have won four of five games since snapping out of a five-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium. TNS