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Tillman makes first rehab start in Double-A

Right-hander goes 2 2/3 innings for the Bowie Baysox
Special to MLB.com

BOWIE, Md.-- Chris Tillman took a big step forward in his rehab process on Monday night, throwing 42 pitches in 2 2/3 innings for Double-A Bowie in his first start of 2017.

Tillman is working his way back from right shoulder bursitis that plagued him throughout Spring Training and forced him to start the regular season on the disabled list.

BOWIE, Md.-- Chris Tillman took a big step forward in his rehab process on Monday night, throwing 42 pitches in 2 2/3 innings for Double-A Bowie in his first start of 2017.

Tillman is working his way back from right shoulder bursitis that plagued him throughout Spring Training and forced him to start the regular season on the disabled list.

The right-hander gave up one run on two hits in the brief start against Richmond. He also struck out three and walked one. The Orioles wanted to have Tillman go three innings or 45 pitches, whichever came first, so Bowie manager Gary Kendall pulled him after the second out of the third when his pitch count reached 42.

"I felt pretty good, pretty good," Tillman said. "I feel like it's going well. It's just tough getting loose, but other than that, once I'm loose, I'm good to go."

Tillman said he felt off a bit with his timing at times, but he is working on getting back into the flow of things. He threw everything in his pitch arsenal and got up into the low 90s several times with his fastball.

"I felt pretty good throughout," Tillman said. "I feel like the first inning was probably my best inning. You just want to go out and make pitches."

Tillman isn't sure of all the details of what comes next in his rehab, but he said his pitch count might be in the mid-50s in his next outing. The right-hander thinks that might be Saturday, and some early guesses are that it could come with Class A Advanced Frederick.

The Orioles have been hoping to get Tillman back into the Major League rotation in early May.

Tillman threw 15 pitches, 12 strikes, in the first inning, giving up his lone run of the night on a one-out solo homer to Richmond's Carlos Garcia.

Tillman has been with the Baysox before, back in 2008. He made 28 starts for Bowie, posting a 3.18 ERA and an 11-4 record in his first full season with the organization. He was acquired in a trade with the Mariners that saw the O's also receive center fielder Adam Jones.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baltimore Orioles, Chris Tillman