Orioles notes on Chris Tillman, Nick Markakis, Kevin Gausman and more

SportsBaseballChris TillmanNate McLouthKevin GausmanBrian MatuszNick Markakis

Chris Tillman made his minor league transitional start Monday at Double-A Bowie in between the two-hit gem against Seattle that he threw Wednesday and his next Orioles outing Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.

It didn’t go so well.

Facing the Akron Aeros of the Eastern League, the Cleveland Indians’ affiliate, Tillman lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, two walks and a wild pitch. He struck out two batters and threw a far-from-economic 72 pitches (40 for strikes).

Now, before you lament on Tillman’s prospects of getting out the imposing Tigers lineup when he struggles against the Aeros, here’s a silver lining. Tillman, in the past, has had trouble following up a great outing at the major league level with another one. So maybe he got the clunker out of the way in Double-A and will be fine Sunday.

Hey, it’s the All-Star Break, you need some positive thinking, right?

Well, here’s one that actually makes sense: Nick Markakis (hamate surgery) is readying for a return Friday to the Orioles. He played in that Bowie game today and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout as a DH. He has gone 3-for-10 with two homers and two walks for the Baysox in three games.

Outfielder Endy Chavez (hamstring) went hitless in four at-bats in his first rehab game with the Gulf Coast League Orioles on Monday. Catcher Luis Exposito (hamate surgery) was also hitless in three at-bats. In fact, the GCL Orioles had just one hit in the game – a two-out, eighth-inning homer by center fielder Gregory Lorenzo that gave them the 1-0, home win against the GCL Red Sox. 

On another minor league note, the International League announced that Norfolk outfielder Nate McLouth and pitcher Brian Matusz won batter and pitcher of the week honors. McLouth, the veteran outfielder, had five homers and 12 RBIs in seven games for the Tides. Matusz, who was demoted by the Orioles on Sunday, threw a complete game shutout in his first 2012 appearance with the Tides. He allowed just four hits and a walk and struck out four batters.

And on a could-be-minor-leaguers-note, the Orioles are still negotiating with the only two selections from the 2012 draft in the first 10 rounds that they haven’t signed: LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman (first round) and Texas high school pitcher Colin Poche (fifth round). They have until Friday at 4:59 p.m. to agree to terms.

Frederick Keys first baseman Aaron Baker has been named Carolina League Player of the Week after hitting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBIs last week.

One other Orioles’ related mention today: The Milwaukee Brewers announced that former Oriole Jay Gibbons has retired from baseball. He had been playing at Double-A and Triple-A with the Brewers.

The 35-year-old played for the Orioles from 2001 to 2007.  

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