The Baltimore Orioles usually win these days when Chris Tillman pitches against the Boston Red Sox.
Tillman can be forgiven if pitching at Camden Yards is a bit unfamiliar to him Tuesday night.
He’ll make his first home start in nearly a month, and the Orioles have won the last five times he has taken the Camden Yards mound against the Red Sox.
Baltimore (32-30) has taken eight of the last nine meetings from Boston with Tillman (5-2, 5.20 ERA) starting. He is 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in that span and 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last five home outings against the Red Sox.
The right-hander last pitched at Camden Yards on May 11 and is still searching for his first home win, going 0-2 with a 2.78 ERA. His road ERA is 6.33 but he is 5-0, escaping without a defeat Thursday after he surrendered five runs in one-plus inning in an 8-6 loss at Texas.
One reason for his success versus Boston has come from limiting David Ortiz to two singles in 19 at-bats. Dustin Pedroia has fared better, going 10 for 32.
The Orioles found out prior to Tuesday’s game that third baseman Manny Machado was suspended five games and fined Tuesday for intentionally throwing his bat on the field during Sunday’s game against Oakland – the second time in three days he lost his temper versus the A’s.
Machado let his bat fly Sunday in the direction of third base after swinging at a pitch from Oakland’s Fernando Abad in the eighth inning. The bat-toss came during a plate appearance in which Abad threw a tight pitch to Machado.
But Machado is appealing the suspension, and was in the starting lineup and hitting second against Boston.
The Red Sox (28-35), losers of six of seven, haven’t scored more than four runs off any of the eight starters they have faced in June.
The Orioles’ Bud Norris helped continue that trend with eight stellar innings in a 4-0 victory in Monday’s opener of this three-game set. Pedroia, Ortiz and Mike Napoli – Boston’s 3-4-5 hitters – combined for 12 hitless at-bats.
Manager John Farrell benched slumping Jackie Bradley and did not say whether the center fielder would be back in Tuesday’s lineup. Bradley, 3 for 7 against Tillman, is mired in a 3-for-27 slump with 10 strikeouts in his last 14 at-bats.
"Jackie’s had some challenges of late," Farrell told the team’s official website. "He’s been working on some things in early BP with a little bit of a different setup where his hand placement is. Yet the strikeouts are probably more than he’s ever experienced and maybe more than we’ve projected."
Shortstop Stephen Drew also sat out Monday due to discomfort in his right oblique with Jonathan Herrera in his place.
Adam Jones had three hits, including his 10th homer Monday, to continue his success against the Red Sox. He’s 14 for 31 in the season series, which is tied at four wins apiece.
"I’m trying to use the whole field," Jones said. "I’m trying to not limit myself to just pulling the ball. That’s how I get in trouble."
Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games with two hits and is batting .379 during his run.
"I feel good up there, but the outcome ain’t going to be there sometimes," Markakis said. "I’m seeing the ball well and putting good swings on it. Kind of trying not to change anything. Stick with your same approach, stick with what’s working."
Boston’s Brandon Workman (0-0, 3.74) will make his seventh career start and fourth in a row. He has posted a 4.70 ERA in the first three, failing to pitch beyond 5 1-3 innings.
The right-hander has never started against the Orioles, pitching four scoreless innings of relief versus them in four appearances.