Zach Britton, who is in the mix for the club’s fifth starter spot, really struggled Wednesday, lasting just 1 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The lefty gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks while retiring only four batters. He loaded the bases – on two walks and a single – and then J.P. Arencibia hit a three-run double before Britton could get an out.
He allowed a two-run homer to Emilio Bonifacio in the second inning.
Britton threw 59 pitches, 36 for strikes in the abbreviated start. He had allowed just two runs in four previous Grapefruit League games (though he did give up three runs to Spain's WBC game in a game in which the statistics did not count).
He now has a 6.10 ERA in five Grapefruit League games, allowing seven earned runs on 13 hits and four walks while striking out seven batters.
The 25-year-old Britton, who was 5-3 with a 5.07 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for the Orioles last year, is competing with Jake Arrieta, Steve Johnson and Brian Matusz, among others, for the final spot in the rotation.
This one certainly didn’t help his case.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun