The Baltimore Orioles haven't had a 20-game winner in almost three decades.
If he continues his current pace, Chris Tillman has an opportunity to end that drought.
Tillman looks to win his fifth consecutive start and help the Orioles stay perfect on an eight-game road trip Friday night in the series opener against the San Francisco Giants .
Tillman (14-3, 3.89 ERA) has won four straight and 10 of his last 11 starts, buoyed by the fifth-best run support average in the majors. The Orioles (63-51) have scored three-plus runs for him in each of his last eight starts and that offense has helped give the right-hander a chance to become the franchise's first 20-game winner since Mike Boddicker in 1984.
Extra offensive support was needed against Seattle on Friday, when Tillman allowed six runs over 5 1-3 innings in Baltimore's 11-8 victory.
"I missed early, got out of whack a little bit and struggled to get back in," Tillman told the team's official site. "Making adjustments is something I've been proud of doing, and it just wasn't there tonight."
Tillman walked three for the third start in a row and his 3.41 walks per nine innings ranks among the league's worst.
He does, however, pitch much better away from hitter-friendly Camden Yards. He's 7-2 with a 4.36 ERA at home compared to 7-1 with a 3.23 ERA on the road. Tillman ranks among the major league leaders having surrendered 23 home runs, but only five have come in 55 2-3 road innings.
Baltimore completed a two-game sweep of San Diego with a 10-3 victory Wednesday as Chris Davis connected for his major league-leading 41st home run. J.J. Hardy also went deep for the Orioles, who have homered 10 times in the last six games and lead the majors with 152.
Davis is batting .489 (20 for 41) with five home runs in 11 interleague games. He's looking to become the second player to hit .500 or better for a single season since Kansas City's Joe Randa hit .508 in 1999."I have felt good the last couple of games," said Davis, batting .216 with 21 strikeouts in his last 51 at-bats. "I feel comfortable in the box, but haven't had much to show for it."
Teammate Adam Jones is 12 for 24 with five RBIs in August after going 7 for 9 with a homer in the two games against his hometown Padres.
Davis and Jones will both get their first look at Ryan Vogelsong (2-4, 7.19), who will make his return from a fractured right hand Friday. After allowing three-plus runs in his first eight starts, the right-hander shut out Washington through five innings May 20 before leaving due to an injury he sustained hitting.
"I don't even think about it," Vogelsong told the team's official site concerning his injury.
The right-hander posted a 1.72 ERA over 15 2-3 innings in four rehab appearances and manager Bruce Bochy said Vogelsong could throw up to 100 pitches.
Vogelsong struggled in his only interleague start this season but is 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA in his last eight outings against the AL.
He can help give the last-place Giants (51-63) consecutive wins for the fourth time since June 20.
Their scuffling offense showed signs of life in Thursday's 4-1 victory over Milwaukee. Though they still rank last in the majors with 98 runs since July, the Giants did hit their first home run in six games - their first at home since July 20 - when Brandon Belt drove in three with his first-inning shot.
"It kind of reminded us what we're capable of," Belt said.
|July 29, 2013||Jason Hammel||15-Day DL||Right forearm tenderness|
|July 14, 2013||Nolan Reimold||60-Day DL||Nerve inflammation in cervical spine|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 31, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Bruised right heel|
|July 30, 2013||Buster Posey||Day-to-Day||Ill|
|July 29, 2013||Tony Abreu||15-Day DL||Left knee bursitis|
|July 25, 2013||Marco Scutaro||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 09, 2013||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- When Chris Davis is in the on-deck circle, it's not often he's watching a teammate walked intentionally. It was no bother either way. He was just as ready to hit.
Davis hit a two-out, two-run double in the 10th inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 Friday night.
"I'm just looking for a pitch over the plate," Davis said. "That's a tough matchup. Lopez is definitely tough on left-handers."
Davis hit a soaring ball that bounced up against the center field wall, scoring Manny Machado , who had two doubles in the game, and Adam Jones , who was given the free pass.
"When I first hit it I thought it was going to hang up there," Davis said. "When I rounded first I looked to see where the outfielders were playing me and saw it was going to fall."
Davis, who also played flawlessly in the field, drove in his 107th and 108th runs of the season.
"Chris made a lot of big plays," Orioles' manager Buck Showalter said. "He's capable out there. A lot of good things happened."
J.J. Hardy homered and Jones had two hits and drove in a run for Baltimore. Matt Wieters also drove in a run.
Jim Johnson (3-7) gave up a game-tying hit to Hunter Pence with no outs in the ninth and then worked out of the jam to gain the victory.
"That's why we trust him," Showalter said. "He kept competing and didn't give in."
Orioles starter Chris Tillman threw eight stellar innings, striking out a career-high nine, giving up one run on four hits and walking one.
"It felt really good. I got into a groove early and everything was working for me," Tillman said. "These guys are fun to watch. I just need to throw strikes and let them go to work."
Brandon Belt had two hits, including a home run, for the Giants, who have lost five of seven. Javier Lopez (1-2) allowed all three runs in the 10th to take the loss.
Tillman was on his way to becoming the first Orioles pitcher to win eight road games in a season before Johnson blew his first save since July 1.
"The way he pitched he deserved the win," Johnson said. "I didn't do my job. I didn't think I threw that many bad pitches. I went out there with good stuff. A couple of balls got through."
Ryan Vogelsong , who was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list before the game, allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out four.
"I missed it. It felt great to get back out there and pitch again," Vogelsong said. "I just tried to think about the stuff I need to do to make pitches."
Tommy Hunter got the final three outs for his third save in four chances.
Machado recorded his 41st double of the season with one out in the first. Jones singled him home to put the Orioles ahead, 1-0.
Hardy led off the second with his 20th homer, giving Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
Vogelsong, in his first appearance since May 20, settled in afterward. After allowing six hits in the first three innings, he retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.
"He pitched well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got better as he went along and gave us six good innings. He did a great job. That's a nice effort."
Belt hit his 13th home run of the season and second in as many days, a solo shot, with two outs, to the deepest part of the park.
Tillman retired 16 in a row after walking Pablo Sandoval in the second. He struck out the side in the second and the first two batters he faced in the third.
Machado doubled off Brandon Crawford 's glove with one out in the 10th. After getting Nick Markakis on a comebacker, the left-handed Lopez walked Jones intentionally and got ahead of Davis 1-2 before giving up the two-run double. Wieters followed with an RBI single.
NOTES: The Giants hit home runs in successive home games for the first time since May 25-29, a three-game stretch. ... RHP Jean Machi was optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Vogelsong, who was reinstated from the 60-day DL. ... Giants RHP Guillermo Moscoso will pitch out of the bullpen with Vogelsong back in the rotation. ... Giants IF Tony Abreu (left knee bursitis) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno on Sunday. ... The Elias Sports Bureau reported RHP Tim Lincecum became the first Major Leaguer since Johnny Vander Meer threw back-to-back no-hitters in 1938 to surrender one hit and pitch more than six innings in his first win after throwing a no-hitter. ... Orioles IF Chris Davis became the first hitter with 40 or more home runs to appear in AT&T Park since Arizona's Mark Reynolds on Sept. 21, 2009. Before that it was Barry Bonds in 2004. ... Hardy became the third O's SS to record three consecutive seasons of 20 or more HRs, joining Miguel Tejada and Cal Ripken, Jr. ... O's RHP Jason Hammel (right flexor mass tightness) received a cortisone shot from Dr. James Andrews.