American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, August 2nd (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (50-58) at Baltimore Orioles (60-49), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Aaron Harang (5-9, 4.89) Baltimore - Chris Tillman (13-3, 3.62)
(Sports Network) - It has to be a little painful for the Seattle Mariners every time they face Baltimore hurler Chris Tillman.
It doesn't help that they have never beaten their former prospect.
Tillman eyes a fourth straight winning start on Friday night when the Orioles open up a three-game series versus the visiting Mariners.
Tillman gets the start tonight looking to become the first Baltimore pitcher to win 14 games in a season since Erik Bedard's 15-victory campaign in 2006. He is the first Orioles hurler since Bedard in 2007 to win 13 games after beating Boston last Friday. The righty scattered two hits and three walks while striking out a career high-tying eight batters in a 6-0 triumph.
"He was the difference maker tonight," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of Tillman. "Chris is a guy that can survive when he doesn't have it. He just keeps pitching."
Tillman won his third straight start and has a 2.98 earned run average over his last 10 outings, winning nine of those. He is 13-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 21 starts overall this year.
The 25-year-old was slated to start on Thursday versus Houston, but was pushed back a day after the Orioles acquired Bud Norris from the Astros prior to Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline. Statistically the move favors Tillman as he is 4-0 lifetime versus the Mariners in four starts with a 0.98 ERA, having allowed three earned runs over 27 2/3 innings.
The Mariners selected Tillman during the second round of the 2006 draft, but dealt him to the Orioles in a package that included Adam Jones and two other players for, coincidentally, Bedard.
Norris, meanwhile, picked up a victory in his Orioles debut, holding his former Astros club to two runs while striking out eight over six innings of Thursday's 6-3 triumph.
Chris Davis added to his Major League-leading totals with his 39th homer and 100th RBI of the season for Baltimore, which won for only the third time in its past nine games.
"We kept grinding and strung some hits together," said Showalter. "A lot of key hits. It's still a work in progress."
Showalter's club will now welcome a Mariners team that has lost five of its past six and was swept in three games by the Boston Red Sox, who the Orioles trail by 5 1/2 games for first place in the AL East.
Seattle lost the final two games of the series in walk-off fashion, including a heart-breaking 8-7 decision on Thursday that saw Boston rally for six runs in the ninth inning.
Felix Hernandez allowed one run over seven frames, but Tom Wilhelmsen, Oliver Perez and Yoervis Medina combined to give up the six runs on six hits and three walks in the ninth while recording just one out.
"Well played ballgame by us up until that last inning," Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said. "Great job by Felix again ... unfortunately in the ninth inning we didn't get the three outs that we needed."
Henry Blanco hit a grand slam for Seattle, while Kendrys Morales went 4-for-5 with an RBI.
Seattle's Aaron Harang gets his third career look at Baltimore tonight and got the better of the club at home back on May 1, when he held the Orioles to a pair of runs on four hits over six innings.
The veteran righty is 5-9 with a 4.89 ERA in 17 starts this year and has allowed three earned runs of fewer in seven of his past eight starts. He has given up just a total of two runs over his last two outings, splitting those decisions.
Harang is coming off a 4-0 loss to Minnesota on Saturday as he allowed the one run on three hits and two walks. However, he needed 107 pitches to get through five innings.
"You know, if I had to go out back out there, I could have gone out back there," said Harang. "But obviously, it seems like that's the magic number ... 100 pitches, and that's usually when your day is over with."
The 35-year-old is just 1-4 with a 6.03 ERA in six road starts this year.
The Mariners won two of three at home versus the Orioles back on April 29-May 1, but has lost six in a row in Baltimore.
08/02 10:21:10 ET