Orioles Option Chris Tillman; Call Up Joe Mahoney

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 04: Starter Chris Tillman #30 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 4, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Orioles defeated the Mariners 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Orioles have optioned right-hander Chris Tillman to Double-A, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

To replace Tillman on their roster, the Orioles have called up first baseman Joe Mahoney from Triple-A Norfolk.

Tillman was fantastic in his 2012 debut yesterday, holding the Seattle Mariners to two earned runs over his 8 1/3 innings of work with seven strikeouts and two walks.

While a demotion usually indicates poor performance, Baltimore sent their 24-year-old down because they don’t want him to be idle over the upcoming All-Star break.

Tillman has spent much of the 2012 season with the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate. Over his 16 appearances, including 15 starts, the right-hander has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 3.63 and 1.287 with 9.3 SO/9 and 3.0 BB/9.

Mahoney, 25, has been Norfolk’s regular first baseman for the 2012 season. Over his 313 at-bats, he’s hit at a clip of .256/.312/.355 with 20 extra-base hits and 38 RBIs.

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Do you expect Tillman to continue his strong performance after the All-Star break?

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