Tillman aims to clinch O's a series win over Royals

9:36 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Righty Chris Tillman can keep the Baltimore Orioles within striking distance of the American League East lead - and clinch them a series win - when he meets the visiting Kansas City Royals in game two of a three- game series on Wednesday night.

The Orioles, who won Tuesday's opener, 4-3, are a game back of the Boston Red Sox in the East, while the Royals sit 1 1/2 games behind the front-running Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

Tillman was winless in his initial four outings of 2013, but has strung together two straight wins since, defeating Oakland, 7-3, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-1, in two straight road starts.

In those games, the 24-year-old allowed just two runs on 10 hits in 14 innings, with four walks and 10 strikeouts.

He's 0-2 in three career meetings with Kansas City and winless in three home starts this season while posting a 5.87 earned run average in 15 1/3 Camden Yards innings.

Tillman is 8-8 in 26 career starts in Baltimore, compared to 10-11 in 31 starts elsewhere.

He's opposed by Venezuelan-born righty Luis Mendoza, who makes a fifth attempt at a first win of 2013.

An eight-game winner last season, Mendoza opened with a no-decision at Philadelphia in which he gave up just a run in six innings, but was subsequently rocked for seven runs in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-4 loss to Toronto.

He worked 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief against Detroit on April 24, but was against ripped - for six runs in four innings - while getting a no- decision in Kansas City's 9-8 downing of Tampa Bay on May 1.

Mendoza is 2-1 in three career meetings with Baltimore and has split two starts at Camden Yards while allowing eight runs in nine innings.

On Tuesday, Matt Wieters' RBI double in the eighth inning lifted the Orioles over the Royals, 4-3.

Wieters ended with a pair of doubles and three runs batted in for the Orioles, who have won three in a row. Adam Jones had an RBI and two runs scored.

Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Tommy Hunter (2-1) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.

"When you don't walk people and you catch the baseball the way we did tonight, you give yourself a chance to win those types of games," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer for the Royals, who have dropped two straight since winning four in a row. Alcides Escobar added an RBI.

Ervin Santana got the start for Kansas City and gave up three runs on seven hits over six innings. Tim Collins (1-1) allowed one unearned run over 1 1/3 innings of relief to take the loss.

The Orioles won five of nine games between the teams in 2012. Kansas City last won the season series in 2010.

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