The evolution of Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman continued Friday night with an outing that was reminiscent of an experienced veteran and not a guy who was in the minors a year ago wondering about his future in the organization.

In the Orioles’ 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in front of a nearly packed house on a picture-perfect baseball evening at Camden Yards, Tillman did what good pitchers are supposed to do.

He won without having particularly strong command, walking four to tie his season high set in the first game of the year. He won despite getting little run support. He won against a good opponent by again making in-game adjustments – something that he didn’t do effectively in the past but seemingly has mastered now.

“I hope so. I hope that’s all in the rearview mirror,” said Tillman, who is 7-2 with a 3.61 ERA after throwing six-plus shutout innings Friday. “We work hard in the offseason, in spring training and the early part of the season to get that out of the way. I hope I’m able to make adjustments like I did, every game, every start. … It’s something you definitely learn.”

The 25-year-old Tillman, as he has much of this year, pitched Friday like a guy who belongs and not one who is hoping to fit in.

“I said in spring, Chris came in full well aware that he was out of options, but he pitched like a guy that had three (minor league options) and didn’t want to go to Norfolk,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That showed a lot of maturity because he wanted to be a guy for us this year and he has been so far.”

At times in the past few seasons, Tillman seemed like the forgotten man, getting passed over by the other members of the so-called “cavalry” of young arms. But as those pitchers have struggled to maintain consistency, Tillman has emerged as the most reliable starter. Currently, he is the only one – Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta are in the bullpen; Zach Britton is at Triple-A and Brad Bergesen is in Japan -- in the Orioles’ rotation.

What he has done, and the company he is in, since being called up from the minors last July is eye-opening.

Since July 4 last year, Tillman is 16-5 and his 16 wins is third in the American League behind Detroit’s Max Scherzer (18) and Justin Verlander (17). His .762 winning percentage ranks him fourth in the majors since the beginning of 2012.

“I think there were times last year where he really showed signs of greatness and showed signs of how dominant he could be,” first baseman Chris Davis said of Tillman. “And this year he’s had some games where he’s really gone out and just kind of made you step back and take a deep breath because he is throwing the ball so well. That’s a pretty solid lineup he shut out tonight and he did it pretty handily.”
Tillman allowed just three hits, and didn’t give up an extra base hit until his last batter, Jose Iglesias, doubled to lead off the seventh. It was just the second time in 14 starts this season that Tillman didn’t allow a run and it was his fourth straight win.

It allowed the Orioles (39-29) to reach 10 games over .500 for the first time this season while moving within 1 ½ games of the American League East leading Red Sox (41-28).

The Orioles have now beaten Boston four of five times this season and in 13 of their last 17 meetings. It was their fourth shutout of the season and first since Freddy Garcia dominated the Washington Nationals on May 30.