BALTIMORE (AP) - Chris Tillman ended his up-and-down season on a decidedly high note.
Tillman pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Adam Jones drove in four runs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 10-6 on Friday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Tillman (2-5) gave up one run, had a season-high seven strikeouts and walked two to earn his first win in six starts since July 10. That included a no-decision against Detroit on Sept. 12 in which the right-hander allowed one run and one hit in 6 2-3 innings.
After allowing a second-inning homer to Don Kelly, Tillman did not permit a runner past first base.
``Chris was outstanding,' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ``I liked the way he gave up the home run early and responded. You really like to see shutdown innings after the runs we scored, too. That's a sign of maturity as he goes forward.'
Tillman couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to a season in which he failed to make the team out of spring training and then bounced back and forth from the minors and majors. His third recall to Baltimore came on Sept. 5.
``That last start of the year is always a big boost for the offseason,' Tillman said. ``Last year I had that tough one going into the offseason (six runs in two innings against Cleveland), and it kind of sat with me the whole offseason. It's a lot better to end the season on a good note.'
Felix Pie and Craig Tatum each had three RBIs for the Orioles, who took control with a six-run fourth inning against Jeremy Bonderman (8-10). It was Baltimore's 64th win of the season, tying last year's mark with three games left.
The Orioles are 32-22 since Showalter made his debut on Aug. 3.
Will Rhymes had three hits for the Tigers, who were playing their second doubleheader in three days. Detroit (80-79) has lost four straight and must win at least once more to avoid a losing season.
Down 1-0 after being held hitless through three innings, the Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth against Bonderman, who fueled the uprising by hitting two batters and walking one.
After a bunt single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, Pie smacked an RBI single off the right-field wall and Jones lined a three-run double inside the third-base line. Bonderman then hit Robert Andino with a pitch before Tatum doubled in two runs with a drive off the base of the center-field wall.
``Bondo started out really good and all of a sudden they had four hits - one was a bunt single - and they had six runs out of it,' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``Just had a bad inning. Control was not good.'
Pie chased Bonderman with a two-run triple in the fifth, and Jones greeted Eddie Bonine with an RBI single to make it 9-1.
Bonderman gave up a season-high nine earned runs.
``Just walking guys. Bad pitches, fall behind in counts. ... I just got beat pretty bad,' he said. ``Embarrassing.'
Unlike Tillman, Bonderman put a dour finish on an otherwise uplifting season in his return from shoulder surgery.
``I had some good starts. I had some bad ones,' he said. ``The final numbers don't look too pretty, but I'm healthy and I made it through.'
Detroit scored four runs in the eighth off Mark Hendrickson. Jones doubled and scored on a single by Tatum in the bottom half.
In the ninth, Rhymes tripled with two outs and scored on a single by Johnny Damon.
NOTES: The game was a makeup of Thursday night's rainout. ... Orioles 2B Brian Roberts missed a third straight game with headaches. ... A squirrel ran onto the field in the seventh inning, and Detroit third base coach Gene Lamont waved the furry critter by third base and into the left-field corner. ... Kelly's second-inning homer snapped a 1-for-9 skid. ... Asked to name his starter for Sunday's season finale, Leyland said, ``It'll definitely be a bullpen game. I don't have anybody else to start.'
The Associated Press News Service
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