Game 87: Orioles 6, Rangers 1

The Rangers sent recently their acquired Ace, Cliff Lee, to the mound. The Orioles countered with the just called up from Triple-A Chris Tillman. If I told you one gave up three home runs and the other took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, what kind of odds could I have gotten that Lee did the former and Tillman the latter? Baseball is a crazy game sometimes.

The Good:

* Chris Tillman looked very good. He pounded the strike-zone pretty consistently, mixed his pitches (including throwing what looked like a few cutters, which we haven’t seen yet this year), and kept the Rangers from making much solid contact. The best part; 12 groundballs to 5 flyballs. Final line; 7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K. More games like this, please.

* Nick Markakis started the fireworks for the Birds, turning on a pitch and driving it out deep down the right-field line for his 6th home run of the year. He also beat out a grounder for an infield hit. Nick has been hustling like crazy recently – I hope he doesn’t pull something.

* Cesar Izturis took Lee deep an inning later, for likely his only home run of the season. Lee gave up 5 home runs all season coming into this game, by the way.

* Not one to be left out of the fun, Adam Jones went to dead center for home run #14. He also added a single later, but cost the team a run (unearned) defensively by misplaying a single into a triple (which preceded a wild pitch).

The Bad:

* I like Cliff Lee, so it was a bit of a shame that the O’s knocked him around. Not often you see a go give up 6 runs on 9 hits, but finish with a complete game and only 95 pitches thrown.

The Final:

The O’s win 6-1, guarantee themselves a series win, and have a chance for the four-game sweep tomorrow. In Texas. Against the first-place Rangers. Sure the team is only 28-59 now, but that doesn’t make the last few games any less satisfying.