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Tides' Tillman fires one-hitter
Orioles prospect strikes out five in shutout win
07/05/2010 6:19 PM ET
Chris Tillman is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA since his return to Triple-A.
Chris Tillman is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA since his return to Triple-A. (Joy R. Absalon/MiLB.com)
Chris Tillman has pretty well established himself as a winning pitcher in the Minors, providing proof of that once again Monday with a complete-game one-hitter.

In his third start since being reassigned from Baltimore, Tillman threw 99 pitches and struck out five in his eighth Triple-A win as Norfolk blanked Charlotte, 2-0.

The gem came about two months after the Orioles prospect threw a no-hitter in his fifth outing of the year.

The 6-foot-5 Tillman, who was optioned to Norfolk after four starts June 22, threw less pitches in his one-hit shutout than he did in the no-no, when he needed 105 pitches and fanned six.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the right-hander worked in two of his new pitches, a two-seam fastball and cutter, throwing both well in the win.

The 22-year-old's only blemish came in the third when Jordan Danks lined a one-out base hit to center field before being erased on Robert Hudson's double play. Danks became the second and last batter to reach base when he drew a one-out walk in the sixth, only to return to the dugout on another Hudson double play.

Tillman cruised the rest of the way, setting the Knights down in order over the final three frames. He struck out Danks to begin the ninth, got Hudson to line to center and sealed his second complete game and shutout when Alejandro De Aza popped up to right.

Monday's effort was another solid outing for the right-hander in what has been a transitional year for the top prospect. He's limited opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 Triple-A starts, winning eight of them, but has been unable to stick in the O's rotation, going 0-3 in four outings.

Tillman's ERA ballooned to 8.40 after dropping his fourth start for the Orioles, although he had the task of facing Toronto, Boston and the Yankees in his first three games. Since then, however, he's been dominant; In three starts since returning to Norfolk, Tillman is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA. He's allowed 10 hits, walked five and has struck out 13 in 21 2/3 innings.

It was a marquee matchup to end the holiday weekend with Tillman facing White Sox prospect Daniel Hudson, an All-Star who leads the International League in wins and had lost only three starts all year. Hudson struck out six but allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits over five frames to fall to 11-4.

Rhyne Hughes's eighth home run, a two-run shot off Hudson in the fourth, was more than enough for Tillman, who most likely will remain with the Tides until after the All-Star break.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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