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Tillman has shoulder injection and won't start O's opener

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Chris Tillman won't extend his streak of opening-day starts for Baltimore to four.

As spring training opened, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday the right-hander had a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right shoulder and will not pitch in a spring training game before March 17, As a result, Tillman won't start the season until April 7 at the earliest.

"We're going to make sure we get it right. This is as fast as we feel comfortable going safely," Showalter said.

Tillman went 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA last year, spending about three weeks on the disabled list with soreness in the right shoulder late in the season. He recovered to start the wild-card game against Toronto.

Showalter said Tillman could avoid starting the season on the disabled list but wouldn't be ready until the season's fourth game. If Tillman has any setback, that timetable would be pushed back.

With Tillman out, right-hander Kevin Gausman is the most likely starter for the April 3 opener against Toronto. Showalter thinks Tillman's injury will not have long-lasting effects.

"I've got high hopes that we get this resolved and he pitches all year for us," Showalter said.

Updated February 14, 2017

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