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Loss to Yanks highlights O's pitching woes

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Orioles' rotation reached a new low in Saturday night's 16-3 loss to the Yankees, as right-hander Chris Tillman was unable to complete two innings before being lifted.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, Tillman left a changeup up in the zone, and Aaron Judge rocketed it for a home run, the hardest hit of the Statcast™ era.

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NEW YORK -- The Orioles' rotation reached a new low in Saturday night's 16-3 loss to the Yankees, as right-hander Chris Tillman was unable to complete two innings before being lifted.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, Tillman left a changeup up in the zone, and Aaron Judge rocketed it for a home run, the hardest hit of the Statcast™ era.

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It all went downhill from there, as the Yankees scored five more runs in the inning before the final out was recorded, and they plated three more off Tillman in the second.

"We got two quick outs, and then I was in such a hurry to get the breaking stuff going," Tillman said. "It just snowballed real quick."

Tillman now has an 8.01 ERA in 30 1/3 innings as the Orioles try to fix their struggling rotation. The five starters have allowed a combined 138 earned runs in 261 innings (4.76 ERA). This includes Alec Asher's numbers only in games he started, and it does not account for Ubaldo Jimenez's time as a starter before he was moved to the bullpen.

Adding to Tillman's rough outing were the woes of the bullpen, which is without back-end reliever Darren O'Day and closer Zach Britton, both of whom are on the disabled list.

The Orioles were forced to use four relievers on Saturday for 6 2/3 innings. The quartet allowed a combined seven runs; the lone bright spot was Richard Bleier, who pitched two shutout innings.

The Orioles will need a deep start from Kevin Gausman on Sunday for two reasons: A lengthy outing would mean that Gausman is pitching well, and the Orioles would be able to rest their overworked relief corps.

Gausman has fared well at Yankee Stadium, posting a 3-2 record with a 3.02 ERA in 10 appearances there.

As it is, manager Buck Showalter may have to shuffle the roster a bit and call up a fresh arm or two from the Minor Leagues for Sunday, though nothing was definitive as of his postgame interview on Saturday. But given that Edwin Jackson and Stefan Crichton pitched on Friday and Saturday, neither of them performing well, there's a decent chance the Orioles will make a change.

"If guys pitch well, I'd like to keep them," Showalter said. "I haven't heard anything from anybody yet, but hopefully, I will."

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

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