Clevenger enjoys prime seat for Tillman's gem
Orioles catcher also delivers key RBI to aid right-hander's first shutout
KANSAS CITY -- The box score shows that Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger had an 0-for-4 night in Friday's 4-0 win over the Royals. But looking beyond those numbers, it was still an extremely satisfying night for Clevenger because he caught Chris Tillman's first career shutout.
Clevenger was on the same page with Tillman all night and guided the right-hander through his 117-pitch effort in which Tillman surrendered five hits and one walk.
"He was in and out, working both sides of the plate," Clevenger said. "If you are in the zone like that with all your pitches, you are going to be successful. Chris mixed his pitches extremely well."
On a chilly 55-degree evening, Clevenger liked the tempo that Tillman had on the mound. The game lasted just 2 hours, 22 minutes.
"He gets the ball and he's ready to go," Clevenger said.
Clevenger also had an important RBI that helped Tillman along. With the Orioles leading 1-0, there were runners at first and third in the fourth inning when Clevenger sent a bouncer to second. Clevenger got a good break from the batter's box and beat the relay throw to first, preventing an inning-ending double play and driving in a run.
"I think it was a big momentum swing," Clevenger said. "It gave us the second run and a little cushion so Tilly could do some work. I just try to hustle."
Clevenger was out of the lineup on Saturday as Caleb Joseph drew a start behind the plate.