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Tillman throws 7 shutout innings to beat Tigers

Alvarez provides pop with two deep ones to go along with 3 RBIs
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- The ball bounced off of the mound, ricocheting off second base and into right field for a sixth-inning RBI double. It was the kind of whacky break that has gone against the Orioles for the better part of the past two weeks.

Finally, on Friday, luck was on their side. Led by seven shutout innings from Chris Tillman and Pedro Alvarez's two homers, the Orioles exorcised their early-season demons with a 6-0, skid-stopping win over Detroit.

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BALTIMORE -- The ball bounced off of the mound, ricocheting off second base and into right field for a sixth-inning RBI double. It was the kind of whacky break that has gone against the Orioles for the better part of the past two weeks.

Finally, on Friday, luck was on their side. Led by seven shutout innings from Chris Tillman and Pedro Alvarez's two homers, the Orioles exorcised their early-season demons with a 6-0, skid-stopping win over Detroit.

View Full Game Coverage

"Those are some things that weren't happening for us that were happening for the other team" manager Buck Showalter said. "It's not like we need a ball to hit the bag.

"I can give you about 10 other [examples] like that. But you can't let it creep in. ... Got some things that kinda went our way [tonight]."

Video: DET@BAL: Peterson doubles off bag to plate Joseph

The victory, which snaps a six-game losing streak, marks the O's second win in 13 games. It showcased a club that, finally, had its hitting, pitching and defense show up over the course of the same nine innings. But as important as adding that "W" to the win column was, perhaps the most encouraging development from the series-opening victory was Tillman's performance.

"I knew what I had to do to get back [in the win column]," said Tillman, who snapped a 22-start winless streak with Friday's gem. "It was just hard getting there. I was putting a lot of the work in. I had an extra bullpen this time. I think it's starting to pay off."

The righty, who was re-signed to a one-year deal this spring after pitching to a 7.84 ERA last year, was impressive in snapping a 22-start winless streak. He held Detroit to just one hit -- Jose Iglesias' one-out double in the fifth -- and was flawless the rest of the evening.

"It's definitely mechanical with me. That's the way I've always been, it's a feel thing," Tillman said. "Once I feel it, I can take off running. Once we got in rhythm and a good tempo tonight, everything kind of fell into place."

Tillman retired 10 straight after a Jeimer Candelario hit-by-pitch and one-out walk to Miguel Cabrera in the first, and kept the Tigers from ever mounting anything serious.

"Everybody's been through some tough times in this game, but especially the way he internalized it so much, you know he wants to contribute more importantly," Showalter said of Tillman, whom he was tempted to trot out to the mound in the eighth. "It's like a guy with power who can't [make contact]. It's like [he's] got the skills that he knows he's capable of having, and he's just not able to execute it. You see a lot of weak contact and things when Chris Tillman is having a good outing."

In his final frame, Tillman tossed a 1-2-3 seventh, getting three ground balls to mark the first time since Aug. 11, 2016, he completed seven full frames.

Alvarez paced the offense, following Manny Machado's first-inning homer with a solo shot off Tigers starter Mike Fiers with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

Video: DET@BAL: Alvarez homers twice, drives in 3 in win

Alvarez then made it 5-0 with one swing in the seventh, hitting a two-run blast into left-center field -- off right-handed reliever Johnny Barbato -- on a 1-0 slider to bring home Danny Valencia. Jace Peterson, who had two hits, scored off Machado's eighth-inning RBI single.

"Every 'W' is needed. Obviously, we've had a couple of rough skids, but there's one thing this team does well -- we stick together," Alvarez said. "We're a pretty resilient bunch. As long as we keep that mentality, everyone does a good job of coming in every day and being prepared, things will turn around. Obviously, this is a huge 'W.' Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Peterson had an eventful sixth inning. The infielder hit a grounder off Fiers that first hit the mound, and then took a turn into right field after hitting second base. The path of the baseball allowed Peterson to hustle into second with an RBI double. Then, with two outs and Chris Davis at the plate, Peterson stole an uncovered-third base against the shift.

Video: DET@BAL: Peterson steals third against the shift

SOUND SMART
Machado's ninth homer of the season moves him into second place in the American League. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius shares the Major League lead with the Angels' Mike Trout with 10 homers apiece.

Video: DET@BAL: Machado crushes a solo home run to center

HE SAID IT
"He was outstanding. That's obviously the Chris I've known for a long time. Today, one of the best performances I've seen out of him. So relieving to see." -- Alvarez on Tillman

UP NEXT
Andrew Cashner will take the mound on Saturday night opposite Tigers lefty Francisco Liriano. Cashner fared well in Detroit earlier this month, going six innings and allowing three runs. The righty has three quality starts in his past four outings and will look to keep that mark going in the 7:05 p.m. ET matchup at Camden Yards.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Chris Tillman