Fortunately for Baltimore, so did the Orioles front office.
Tillman, promoted from Class AAA Norfolk to make Wednesday's start, shut out his former organization for eight-plus innings in his 2012 debut.
The former Mariners prospect, acquired in the trade that also sent Adam Jones and others to Baltimore in return for Erik Bedard, finished Wednesday's 4-2 win with a line of two runs on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings.
Previously a top prospect, Tillman seems to have returned to form at the perfect time and gave the Orioles a huge boost as they won the series with Seattle.
Tillman, who was sent down to Class AA Bowie immediately after the game, allowed a single to Mike Saunders with one out in the fourth. He wouldn't allow another hit until the ninth.
He allowed walks in the fifth and seventh but turned in four perfect innings. The defense committed two errors behind him.
In the ninth, the leadoff batter reached on an error, and Tillman struck out another Mariner before John Jaso's double forced his exit.
Tillman, who said he has matured significantly in the last year or two, put himself back on the map with the start. And perhaps most timely for the Orioles, Tillman just bumped his value -- he could be most valuable as a trade chip should the club seek to make a July trade to stay in the playoff race.
Markakis could begin rehab assignment this weekend
--RF Nick Markakis could join Class AA Bowie for a rehab assignment this weekend. Markakis has been out since early June after undergoing surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He worked out with short-season Class A Aberdeen on Monday and Tuesday, taking batting practice.
--C Taylor Teagarden could return for a rehab assignment after missing more than three months because of lower back issues. Teagarden could return shortly after the All-Star break. He injured the back in March and underwent a series of injections before rehab.
--2B Brian Roberts was in Baltimore on Wednesday to undergo tests on his right hip, The Sun reported. Roberts was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right groin injury and was set to have an MRI.
--CF Adam Jones belted his 20th homer Wednesday to help power the Orioles to a win against his former club. Jones' second-inning blast landed in the second row of the upper deck above the bullpens in left field. He didn't hit his 20th homer in 2011 until Aug. 6, on his way to a career-high 25.
--1B/RF Chris Davis seems to be heating up again. The left-handed slugger has nine RBI in his last six games. In that stretch, he's batting .348 (8-for-23) with a double and two homers. He also made a stellar play in right field Wednesday afternoon and continues to be the top option to fill in for the injured Nick Markakis.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Consecutive games in which an Orioles starter has pitched into the seventh inning.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He had the stuff to pitch a complete game there, but we had a miscue there that probably cost him." -- Manager Buck Showalter on RHP Chris Tillman's performance Wednesday.
--2B Brian Roberts (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 2.
--OF Endy Chavez (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He wasn't showing any serious progress in late June. He was planning to get a second opinion, but in the meantime continued to work out at the club's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla.
--1B Nick Johnson (sprained right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list June 28.
--RF Nick Markakis (broken hamate bone in right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 30. He had surgery June 1. He had yet to begin swinging a bat as of June 25. There is a chance he could return before the All-Star break.
--LF Nolan Reimold (bulging disk in neck) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 1, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 12. He had an epidural injection May 11. He's been dealing with persistent back and neck issues. He received a second epidural injection in mid-May, and he reported to the club's Sarasota, Fla., facility in late May. He underwent surgery June 25 to remove a bulging disk from his neck and fuse two vertebrae together. He is likely out for the season.
--RHP Stu Pomeranz (pulled left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 6.
--C Taylor Teagarden (back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 9. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on July 2, and he might be able to rejoin the Orioles after the All-Star break.
--LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (torn left elbow ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 7. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 11.
LHP Wei-Yin Chen
RHP Jason Hammel
RHP Jake Arrieta
LHP Dana Eveland
RHP Chris Tillman
RHP Jim Johnson (closer)
RHP Kevin Gregg
RHP Luis Ayala
RHP Pedro Strop
LHP Troy Patton
RHP Darren O'Day
RHP Matt Lindstrom
RHP Miguel Gonzalez
1B Chris Davis
SS J.J. Hardy
DH Jim Thome
CF Adam Jones
RF Steve Pearce
OF Xavier Avery
OF/INF Ryan Flaherty