News not all bad for Orioles

Sure, the Orioles are 4-17. Brian Roberts is hurt, and Adam Jones has walked twice this month. But the news isn't all bad. Wednesday night, their No. 6 starter pitched a no-hitter. Sure, it was in the minors. But when you're 4-17 you take your good news where you find it. From the Sun:

Orioles top minor league pitching prospect Chris Tillman pitched Norfolk's first nine-inning no-hitter in nearly 18 years Wednesday as part of the Tides' 6-0 win at Gwinnett, the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A affiliate.

Tillman, 22, allowed one walk and struck out six, throwing 105 pitches. He retired Matt Young on a groundout to Robert Andino to secure the no-hitter.


Tillman is 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA this season for the Tides. He was sent to Norfolk in March after losing the Orioles' fifth-starter competition to David Hernandez.

Tillman made 12 major league starts for the Orioles in 2009, going 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA.

The Orioles acquired Tillman, a second-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2006, in the 2008 trade with the Mariners for Erik Bedard.

As I'm absolutely sure you recall, we examined the Tillman-Hernandez battle in some detail. Tillman lost that battle mostly because 1) he struck out 10 and walked nine in the exhibition games, while 2) Hernandez struck out 20 and walked 3.

Since then, two critical things have happened. One, Tillman's now thrown a no-hitter. Two, Hernandez's strikeout-to-walk ratio has plummeted. Oh, and there's a third thing: No. 4 starter Brad Bergesen has a nifty 10.19 ERA in three starts.

Add it all up, and Tillman's no-hitter might be one of his last Triple-A starts in 2010.