BALTIMORE -- On Thursday, for the second straight start, Chris Tillman again didn't make it out of the second inning. But this time it didn't matter.
The Orioles' offense, a frustratingly inconsistent bunch through the season's first six weeks, broke out in a big way. Using homers from Manny Machado, Trey Mancini and Adam Jones, the O's erased an early deficit for a series-clinching 11-6 win over the Royals.
The victory, highlighted by 4 2/3 scoreless innings by reliever Miguel Castro, marked a season high in runs scored. It's also just the second time this season the Orioles have won back-to-back games. (The other was on April 5-6 in New York.)
Baltimore got multi-run innings in the first, third and fourth, with eight Orioles recording at least one hit as they roughed up Ian Kennedy for a season-high nine runs. Machado struck first, with a two-run blast after Jones doubled in a run in the first inning. Jones had a two-run homer in the third to make it a one-run deficit. Mancini followed with his own two-run blast as part of a four-run fourth that saw the O's take the lead for good.
Tillman's abbreviated outing, which saw Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a grand slam before the right-hander recorded an out, wasn't entirely without consequence. Tillman exited after a two-run single made it 6-3 in the second inning.
Tillman has now allowed 13 earned runs over his last 2 2/3 innings and his rotation spot was already on thin ice. Considering Tillman's 10.46 season ERA and one quality start on the year, the Orioles will have to seriously weigh their other starting options.
Castro, on the other hand, arguably saved the game. The righty held the Royals to four hits and two walks, magnificently bridging the gap to the later innings and giving the offense a chance to work. The Orioles have now scored 23 runs in their last three games.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The O's rapped out plenty of hits, but Machado's homer was the one that prevented the game from getting away early. With Baltimore in a 4-0 hole after the first, Machado's two-run blast brought it to 4-3, marking his 10th homer of the season and giving the shortstop a team-leading 29 RBIs. More >
Mancini and Jones each had three hits and three runs scored on Thursday, marking the first time the O's Nos. 1 and 2 hitters accomplished that feat in a game since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.
HE SAID IT
"Everybody here has gone through tough times. Tilly is one of the best teammates and best guys I've ever played with. Look at everything he's done for this organization since he's been here -- since he was traded over. He and Adam, and some of the other guys in here were really the faces of kind of the renaissance, if you want to say that, of the Orioles. Going to the playoffs, he was the ace of that staff for a long time. He's done so much for the organization and the city, so yeah, it's tough to see any of your teammates struggle, but a guy like Tilly, you always cheer for." -- Mancini, on Tillman's struggles
Right-hander Kevin Gausman will get the ball in the opener at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday as the Orioles welcome the Rays for a four-game set at Camden Yards. Gausman, who will be opposed by righty Jake Faria, had perhaps his best start on Saturday in Oakland, when he shut out the A's on two hits in the first 9-inning outing of his big league career. But he didn't get a win as the O's offense couldn't spot him a run.