DETROIT — Chris Tillman gave up one run in a second straight start. This time, he had something to show for it.
Tillman outpitched Justin Verlander while working into the ninth inning, helping the Baltimore Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 Sunday to avoid getting swept.
“Some guys see Verlander in the opposite slot and they shy away,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “Tillman takes that as a challenge.”
Tillman (1-0) gave up five hits, including Torii Hunter’s solo homer in the fourth. The right-hander was thankful to match a career-high 8⅓ innings after missing some spots he was targeting.
“I know I got away with a couple of pitches,” Tillman said. “I tried to go down and away, but I missed up.”
Tommy Hunter replaced Tillman with one out in the ninth and Victor Martinez on second base, retiring the last two batters for his second save.
When Baltimore opened the year with a 2-1 win against Boston, Tillman allowed one run over five innings and didn’t factor in the decision.
Baltimore, which had lost four straight since beating the Red Sox, handed baseball’s last undefeated team its first setback of the season.
Verlander (0-1) gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over eight innings. He struck out three, moving past Tommy Bridges and into fourth place on the franchise’s all-time list with 1,674 in his career.
Adam Jones drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly after Nick Markakis tripled.
Torii Hunter homered for the third straight game to make it 1-0 Detroit.
Baltimore tied it at one in the sixth inning when Nelson Cruz doubled home Jones, who had also hit a double. The Orioles went ahead 3-1 in the ninth after Al Alburquerque replaced Verlander and allowed a Matt Wieters homer.
The Tigers scored 17 runs and had 30 hits in their previous two wins against Baltimore in the series.
“Bats cooled a little bit, but I think that had more to do with Tillman than anything else,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after his first career loss.