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NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Tillman is all set to pitch Game 1 of the AL playoffs next week for the Baltimore Orioles.
Manager Buck Showalter made the announcement before the AL East champions played the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Tillman is 13-5 with a 3.26 ERA. He has given up three runs or fewer in his last 20 starts.
The Orioles open the best-of-five AL division series a week from Thursday at Camden Yards. It's still not known which team they'll face — it will either be the AL Central champion or the wild-card winner.
Tillman is 6-0 in 13 starts since July 12. He'll get a tuneup for the postseason on Friday night at Toronto.
"He's pitched 200 innings two years in a row. That's quite an accomplishment, physically alone, and then you have to pitch well to do that well," Showalter said. "He's a pro. He's turned into a guy that I'm real proud of the way he goes about his business. It's not always perfection, but you feel good about him giving you a chance to win."
Showalter said the Orioles will wait to see which opponent they face before deciding on starters for the Games 2 and 3 in the playoffs.
Tillman started on opening day this season. The 26-year-old righty was an All-Star last year.
Tillman went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 starts in 2012 but didn't pitch in the five-game loss in the division series to the Yankees. Showalter said Tillman has a different presence now.
"You can tell he doesn't panic. He kind of knows who he is. He knows where to go. He has a lot of confidence in the endgame, so to speak. The sky's not falling after 10 pitches in a game," Showalter said,
"He saves his bullets a little bit. You can see he goes back and gets some. He knows the process," he said.
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