Orioles forced to go to the bullpen in the fifth inning of ALCS Game 1

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Chris Tillman’s night ended with a runner on third base with one out in the top of the fifth inning of ALCS Game 1 against the Royals. The Orioles had fallen behind when Tillman allowed four runs in the third inning. In the fifth, Tillman allowed a hit in the right-center field gap to Lorenzo Cain, who hustled for a double, narrowly beating center fielder Adam Jones’ throw in to second base. Cain moved to third base on an Eric Hosmer ground out to second base. Manager Buck Showalter decided that was the end of the line for Tillman after throwing 84 pitches to 22 batters.

Tommy Hunter, who had begun warming up when Tillman was struggling in the third, entered the game in relief. He allowed Cain, the inherited runner, to score on a Billy Butler sacrifice fly, stretching the Royals’ lead back to four runs at 5-1. Alex Gordon then ripped a line drive single to center field, but was promptly picked off of first base to end the fifth inning.

Tillman’s final line: 4 1/3 innings, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. Definitely not the outing the Orioles were looking for to begin the ALCS.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.