Orioles ace Chris Tillman headed to DL with shoulder issue

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles ace Chris Tillman would rather miss part of August than be sidelined for most of September.

So the right-hander is going to take a break from the pennant race to give his ailing shoulder a much-needed rest.

Baltimore is expected to place Tillman on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

"I don't like it, but it is what it is. It happened, and we've got to get better now," Tillman said Tuesday night after Baltimore beat Washington 8-1. "I think this is the best way to go about it. I'd rather feel better at the end of the season rather than fighting it all year."

After having his last start pushed back three days, Tillman gave up six runs in two innings against Houston on Saturday.

He and manager Buck Showalter insisted at the time that the injury wasn't an issue, but now there's no question about it.

"They were talking (Tuesday) about whether or not they were going to inject him (with cortisone)," Showalter said. "I'm not 100 percent sure if they did that. He did not get an injection last time in the shoulder. I think that would be a sign of where he is heading."

Tillman is 15-5 with a 3.76 ERA in 26 starts. No other starter on the team has more than seven wins.

Now, it seems, he will be stuck on 15 wins for at least a couple of weeks.

"Just inflammation. It's just irritated, and we're trying to get that gone before we get going again," Tillman said. "It happens. It's part of baseball. Bad timing."

The Orioles are locked in a heated duel for the AL East lead with Toronto and Boston and also in the middle of the wild-card chase. Keeping pace will be that much tougher without Tillman.

"We are going to miss him on the mound," center fielder Adam Jones said. "I look at it as a time for him to go heal."

Ubaldo Jimenez (5-10, 6.94 ERA) will start in Tillman's place on Thursday night in Washington.

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