The Baltimore Orioles have now won three games in a row, due largely in part to a rejuvenated starting rotation that has featured great pitching performances over the past few days. It continued on August 6, as the Orioles were able to defeat the Seattle Mariners by the score of 3-1. Chris Tillman picked up his fifth win of the year, while Josh Johnson converted for his 33rd save.
After giving up five runs in his last start, it seemed as though Chris Tillman was finally starting to come back down to earth after starting off fairly well for the Orioles since being called up in early July. However, Tillman showed that he still has something left to offer in the August 6 game against the Mariners, going more than seven innings while giving up only one run on five hits to go along with five strikeouts for the game as well. For some reason or another he seems to like pitching against Seattle, as he had a flawless game in his last start against them on July 4, and was able to get ahead of hitters early in the count with effective off-speed pitches as well. Along with Wei-Yin Chen, Tillman has been a bright spot in the starting rotation of late and could really help the Orioles stay in contention while the team hopes to get Jason Hammel back soon.
The offensive player of the game for the Orioles on August 6 was Nick Markakis, who went 2 for 4 with a two run home run in the second inning for his eleventh of the year. His power numbers are still not where they need to be for an outfielder making nearly $12.5 million per year, but he does have hits in six out of his last seven games and has been raising his average up little by little as the season has progressed, now at .287. Pitching can only do so much for the team, and I think if they really want to stay in the race for a wild card spot this year players such as Markakis and Matt Weiters need to step up their games to another level.
The Baltimore Orioles will look to make it four in a row on August 7 as Zach Britton takes the mound against Blake Beavan of the Mariners. Britton had a lot of promise coming up through Baltimore's farm system, but just hasn't fulfilled the potential to this point, and hasn't looked good in most of his starts this season. Perhaps with his spot in the rotation on the line he will get things back together, but nothing is certain. Beavan has pitched pretty well over his past three starts, giving up a total of five runs, so it won't necessarily be a walk in the park for the Orioles hitters as well.
Ryan Kekoufski has been following the Baltimore Orioles since Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak, and still enjoys watching games at Camden Yards from time to time.
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