Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/13/14
Royalsorioles_4ae3
So much for those pitching woes. The Orioles, a team whose 2012 success was due in large part to their bullpen’s dominance, have received inconsistent pitching for much of this season. You wouldn’t know it by watching Baltimore’s back-to-back wins over Boston, though. Chris Tillman turned in an excellent outing on Friday. He twirled six shutout innings en route to earning his seventh win of the season, and he seemed to get better as the game went on. The right-hander showed a lot of confidence in his offspeed stuff, particularly his curveball, and when all was said and done, Tillman and three others combined to shut out the Red Sox 2-0. Tillman has had some shaky games this season, but he’s been Baltimore’s most effective starter. That isn’t saying too much considering the Orioles’ pitching staff ranks near the middle or bottom of the league in a number of statistical categories, including ERA (29th). However, Friday’s performance highlights a solid stretch for Tillman, as he’s gone at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in his last three starts. Pitching will still be the biggest question mark surrounding the Orioles going forward. Baltimore’s offense packs a powerful punch, but there will continue to be questions about whether the O’s have the horses necessary to be World Series contenders. Their rotation isn’t exactly daunting, and the bullpen, which was sensational last season, has been a shell of its former self. Despite the lackluster overall production from those toeing the rubber, though, it’s hard to overlook the efforts turned in against the Red Sox. Tillman’s six shutout innings will grab headlines, but Baltimore’s bullpen was excellent. Only one baserunner reached against the trio of Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson. That came in the ninth inning when Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch, and he was quickly wiped off the bases on a game-ending double play induced by Johnson. The impressive pitching display on Friday was actually the second of the series for Baltimore. Reliever Brian Matusz surrendered two runs to the Red Sox in the seventh inning on Thursday. After that, five relievers combined to toss 6 1/3 perfect innings before Chris Davis’ bloop single in the 13th inning sent Orioles fans home happy. The Orioles’ bullpen certainly isn’t back to where it was last season, when Baltimore had the fifth-best bullpen ERA and went 29-9 in one-run games. Pedro Strop has had a disastrous season and Johnson hasn’t been the lights-out closer he was in 2012. But the O’s have pitched their way to two wins in a row over the AL East-leading, offensively-gifted Red Sox, trimming their divisional deficit to 1 1/2 games in the process. Oh yeah, and the Orioles have taken four of five from the Red Sox so far this season. That has to count for something, right? Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.