The Baltimore Orioles right-hander will finally get that chance in Thursday night's series opener.
Acquired from Seattle in the 2008 Erik Bedard deal that brought Adam Jones to Baltimore, Tillman (1-1, 4.73 ERA) needed four career starts to earn his first major league victory, a 16-6 win over the Angels on Aug. 14, 2009.
The right-hander, a former standout at Fountain Valley High School - the same school Angels starter C.J. Wilson attended - nearly made his first professional start in Anaheim during the Orioles' second visit last season from July 5-8. Tillman, though, was sent down the day before that series after a one-day call-up resulted in him picking up a victory in Seattle in his first appearance of the season.
Tillman, who earned his first win of the season with six strong innings in Saturday's 7-3 victory over Oakland, will now try to help the Orioles (16-12) bounce back after dropping two of three in Seattle.
Baltimore, an 8-3 loser on Wednesday, is 1-3 since opening a season-high 11-game trip with three victories.
The Angels (10-17), meanwhile, are back in town after Wednesday's 5-4 victory over the A's ended a 2-5 trip and a four-game skid."A win's a win," right fielder Mark Trumbo said. "It was probably more of a nail-biter than we would have liked."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia likes what he's seeing from Trumbo, who could match a career high by homering in four straight."Trum is definitely finding his comfort level in the box," Scioscia said.
Trumbo's three homers led the Angels as they took seven of nine from the Orioles last season, but he's gone deep just once in 50 home at-bats.
The Angels, despite their struggles, have won six of their last eight in Anaheim. Continuing that run, and the staff's 22-inning scoreless streak at home against Baltimore, could be difficult with Joe Blanton (0-4, 7.09) taking the ball on Thursday. Los Angeles hasn't won any of his five starts after he surrendered all of the runs in Saturday's 3-2 loss at Seattle."Everything is just a little off right now," said Blanton, who walked a season-high four. "... It needs to be cleaned up."
Heading home might help former MVP Josh Hamilton find his hitting stroke, as he's batting .298 in Anaheim compared to .154 on the road. Hamilton, a .342 career hitter off Orioles pitching before going 0 for 4 in the winner-take-all wild-card loss to Baltimore on Oct. 5, has no hits and three strikeouts in six at-bats versus Tillman.
Third baseman Manny Machado might be an even tougher out. He's batting .419 (18 for 43) during a team-best 10-game hitting streak and homered and doubled in Wednesday's loss.
The Orioles have won two of 10 in Anaheim since 2011.
|April 28, 2013||Taylor Teagarden||15-Day DL||Dislocated left thumb|
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
|April 04, 2013||Brian Roberts||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring injury|
|March 26, 2013||Wilson Betemit||60-Day DL||Right PCL tear|
|March 23, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|April 30, 2013||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Sean Burnett||15-Day DL||Left forearm irritation|
|April 20, 2013||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Neck stiffness|
|April 13, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Right triceps tightness|
|April 12, 2013||Alberto Callaspo||15-Day DL||Right calf tightness|
|April 11, 2013||Alberto Callaspo||Day-to-Day||Calf|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- While his teammates were still flying to Southern California after a late game at Seattle, Chris Tillman was already in his own bed at his Fountain Valley home, resting up for his first start in the ballpark he used to frequent often while growing up.
Tillman returned to his hometown and outpitched Joe Blanton with eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball, right fielder Nick Markakis threw out Mike Trout at the plate, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 Thursday night.
"It's special to pitch in front of your family and friends, especially a good one like this," Tillman said. "The big thing was throwing strikes early and (to) work off my fastball command. I was a little off in the first and second inning, but Matt (Wieters) did a good job of making me throw all of my pitches, and I think that's what got me back on track. He's been great with me all year."
Markakis also hit an RBI double and Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the ninth, a drive to center field that bounced off Trout's glove as he jumped for it at the top of the fence.
Tillman (2-1) struck out three, walked two and retired 20 of his last 21 batters en route to his second win in two career starts against the Angels, including his first major league victory on Aug. 14, 2009 at Baltimore. The 25-year-old right-hander is 9-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 career starts against AL West teams.
"I think he had something like 23 out of 29 first-pitch strikes, and that was the difference," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You could tell early on he had a crisp fastball. Pitching that eighth inning was huge. I know there were about seven guys in down in the bullpen who really liked it - including the bullpen catcher."
Blanton (0-5) allowed three runs - two earned - and eight hits over eight innings, and is winless in his first six starts of a season for the second time in his 10-year career. The right-hander was 0-5 through his first 10 starts in 2005 with Oakland.
It went a couple of games longer than I hoped it would," Blanton said. "When things weren't going good, you retrace your steps of things that clean you up. Hopefully it happens quick but sometimes it doesn't. It's just making sure I use the slope to drive me down, allow my arm to get out and really attack the bottom of the zone."
Manny Machado 's RBI single in the third inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Blanton didn't allow another hit until the sixth, when Adam Jones singled to right one pitch after fouling a ball hard off his left shin and taking some time to shake off the pain.
Chris Davis followed with a double into the right field corner, and Jones legged it all the way around - just beating second baseman Howie Kendrick 's relay from Josh Hamilton .
" Adam Jones is a tough hombre," Showalter said. "Try taking a ball off the shin, then poking a ball into right field and scoring from first on a double. That's a challenge. But I think that's what a lot of people miss most about Adam. He's a tough guy."
The Orioles made it 3-0 in the seventh with Markakis' two-out RBI double after a two-base throwing error by Brendan Harris , who charged Nolan Reimold 's grounder and barehanded the ball before air-mailing it into the first row behind the Orioles' dugout.
Tillman walked two batters in the first, including Mark Trumbo on eight pitches with two out. Hamilton singled to right field on the next pitch, but Markakis charged the ball and made a perfect one-hop throw to the plate, where Wieters put the tag on Trout as he came in standing up. It was the second outfield assist by the Orioles this season and the first involving a play at home.
"The fact that we didn't score in the first inning might have taken a little wind out of our sails," Trumbo said. "We've got to get better at doing things like that. Obviously we're not on any kind of a roll, so the small things become that much more important."
Albert Pujols homered in the ninth inning for the Angels against closer Jim Johnson .
NOTES: Jones was hopping around home plate again in the seventh after fouling a ball off the inside of his left foot. ... Longtime Angels nemesis Freddy Garcia has been penciled in to start against them on Saturday. The 36-year-old righty is 16-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 28 career starts against the Halos. He signed a minor league contract on March 27, three days after he was released by San Diego. ... Davis was chosen Thursday as AL player of the month, the first Oriole to win the award since Melvin Mora in August 2008. ... Only 15 managers in major league history have piloted the same team for more consecutive seasons than Mike Scioscia , who took the Angels job in 2000. Three of them were contemporaries - Bobby Cox (Atlanta), Tony La Russa (St. Louis) and Tom Kelly (Minnesota).