Backed by 7.1 innings of SOLID pitching by Chris Tillman, the Orioles (35-23) cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory, and have swept the defending World Champion Royals, right out of Baltimore. Given the events of last night, and the still bitter taste in our mouths from the 2014 ALCS, this sweep has so much more behind it. This isn’t just sweeping any other team, this is sweeping not only the World Champs, but sweeping the team that most definitely thinks they’re better than the world. This one feels good!
Chris Tillman had his best performance of the year, striking out 9 (in which he has done three times now this season), while scattering 8 hits. Tillman did not allow a run, and has now lowered his ERA to 3.01 this season. On 110 pitches (again, third time this season) Tillman threw 81 strikes, and picked up his 8th win on the season, and 6th win at home. He is now 6-0 when pitching at Camden Yards.
The offense tonight gave Tilly the run support he needed, and it all came in one inning. In the bottom of the 5th, Ryan Flaherty doubled in Jonathan Schoop, and Pedro Alvarez. Adam Jones scored Nolan Reimold on a sac-fly, and once again Hyun Soo Kim picked up a single, which scored Flaherty from second.
Hyun Soo Kim has now hit safely in 7 of his last 9 games, and is batting .343 over that stretch, with 3 extra base hits, one of those being a home run in Cleveland.
Brad Brach came into the game with two outs in the 8th inning, and walked Eric Hosmer, to load the bases. Brach got Salvador Perez to fly out to Kim in left, and the Royals were kept off the board.
They have now scored 1 run in the last 21 innings, and have lost 7 in a row.
Now, Orioles fans, we wait for the Giants to snap their 3-game losing streak out west at the hands of the Red Sox, and the O’s will have a little more breathing room in first place, and in their quest to capture the AL East title, for the second time in three years.