American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, July 4th (All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (43-37) at Seattle Mariners (35-48), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Chris Tillman (0-0, 0.00) Seattle - Hector Noesi (2-10, 5.69)
(Sports Network) - Chris Tillman makes his first start of the season this afternoon when the Baltimore Orioles play the rubber match of their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Tillman was 3-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 13 starts for the Orioles last season, but was optioned to the minors during spring training, despite posting a 2.92 ERA in five appearances.
In 15 starts at Triple-A Norfolk, Tillman was 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings.
"This is what I've worked all season for," Tillman said. "I've gotten in a good routine and it's working well. I'm real excited."
A second round pick of the Mariners in 2006, Tillman beat Seattle last season, holding it to a run and three hits in six innings.
The right-hander will be trying to help the O's secure a series victory today after a wild win on Tuesday that saw Robert Andino crush a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to propel Baltimore to a 5-4 victory.
After Seattle tied the game with a three-run eighth, Baltimore battled back in the ninth as Andino belted a two-out blast over the wall in left off Charlie Furbush (4-2), ending the reliever's streak of 22 2/3 scoreless innings.
Jim Johnson retired the M's in order in the ninth to nail down his 24th save of the season. Darren O'Day (5-0) got the win for recording the final out of the eighth, while starter Wei-Yin Chen struck out a career-high nine batters and carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before giving up a one-out homer to Casper Wells.
"He was outstanding," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter of Chen. "The breaking ball was the sharpest we've seen it. He did a great job moving the ball in the strike zone. I was proud of him. He handled himself really well."
Matt Wieters stroked a two-run single in the sixth to help the Orioles (43-37) ensure a winning record at the All-Star break for the first time since 2005.
Justin Smoak scored once and also knocked in a run for the Mariners, who have lost two of their last three games.
Getting the call for the M's this afternoon will be right-hander Hector Noesi, who has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 2-10 mark to go along with a 5.69 ERA. He was again awful on Friday against Boston, as he allowed five runs - four home runs - in five innings.
"I was missing my pitches again, just putting them in the middle," Noesi said.
While it really hasn't mattered much, the Mariners have totaled just one run in his last four starts. Noesi has lost seven straight decisions and his 10 losses are tied for the most in the league.
This will be his first start against the Orioles, but has pitched to a 1.08 ERA in five relief appearances against them.
Baltimore which took four of six from the Mariners last season.
07/04 10:21:50 ET