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Chris Tillman Throws No-Hitter in Minors

Apr 28, 2010 – 11:55 PM
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Pat Lackey

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With another loss on Wednesday dropping the Orioles' record to 4-17 on the season, Baltimore fans are desperate for any positive sign that things aren't as bad as they seem. Pitching prospect Chris Tillman gave them just that Wednesday, throwing the first minor league nineinning no-hitter of 2010 for Triple-A Norfolk against the Gwinnett Braves, leading the Tides to a 6-0 win.

Tillman struck out six, walked one, and saw one runner reach on an error, though a double play in the fifth inning meant that he only faced one hitter over the minimum. All in all, he only needed 105 pitches to complete the gem. He got stronger as the game went on, too, retiring the last 13 hitters he faced and getting four of his six strikeouts in those final 13 batters.

Tillman was a second-round pick of the Mariners in 2006 and came to Baltimore in the Erik Bedard trade before the 2008 season. Last year, at the age of 21, he breezed through his first stint in Triple-A with a 2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, more than a strikeout an inning, and a 3.81 K/BB ratio. That earned him 12 starts for the O's, where he mostly held his own before faltering a bit down the stretch.

He's back in Triple-A right now to work on his command and expanding his repertoire beyond his fastball, and the Orioles have high hopes for both he and Brian Matusz. After struggling in his first few starts with Norfolk this season, things certainly clicked for him this week.
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