BALTIMORE — Chris Tillman has transcended his role as the ace of the Orioles.
Unbeaten since April 14, and riding a seven-game winning streak, the right-hander has to be considered among the best pitchers in the American League.
Tillman pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Ryan Flaherty drove in two runs and the Orioles extended the Royals' losing streak to seven games with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.
Tillman, who matched his career high with nine strikeouts, is unbeaten in 10 starts since April 14, 6-0 at home and tied for second in the AL with eight wins.
"I think fastball command from the get-go was pretty spot-on," Tillman said. "I felt pretty good in the bullpen coming in and I was able to carry it over."
In equaling his career high for successive wins, Tillman improved his ERA to 3.01. A year ago, he was 11-11 with a 4.99 ERA.
"You can make a heck of a living going 11-11 in the big leagues," manager Buck Showalter said. "But Chris wants to be better than that because he knows he's capable of it and wants to bring what the club needs."
There was no leftover hostility from Tuesday night, when Kansas City's Yordano Ventura hit Manny Machado with a pitch to trigger a melee.
"It was water under the bridge as soon as we left here last night," Orioles reliever Brad Brach said.