Zach Britton's last start before Sunday afternoon was a non-descript, five-inning, one-run performance against the Minnesota Twins in which he allowed six hits and four walks.

He got the win, but even Britton walked away somewhat hollow that day. It wasn't the bounce back game he had hoped for after the his disaster in the Bronx on July 30, in which he gave up nine runs (six earned) and retired just one batter.

Advertisement

He got that on Sunday afternoon, befuddling the Yankees in a 2-0 win, the Orioles' season-high sixth straight.

"It was nice. I wasn't thinking about that start. You have to have a short memory," said Britton, who gave up four hits and a walk in seven shutout innings Sunday. "You're going to have good outings, bad outings. I wasn't thinking about getting revenge or anything. I was just focused on what me and Rick (Adair) were working on in the bullpen and executing a good game plan."

OK, Britton says he wasn't thinking about it. But the turnaround resonated with his manager and teammates.

"We talked about it before the game in here," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The process that you get challenged with here along the way. Sometimes guys go so quickly through the minor league system without getting their nose bloodied a little bit. It's always good when you're exposed to it than when you're not."

Britton responded with 120-pitch gem – the most pitches in his brief career and most for an Oriole this season – which included five strikeouts. Perhaps his most impressive moment was in the seventh, when he entered with 110 pitches thrown, and then got Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher to fly out and then Andruw Jones to hit into an inning-ending grounder.

These were guys he couldn't get out last month. And closer Kevin Gregg, who spent most of July 31 chatting Britton about that terrible outing, noticed.

"It's maturity. And hopefully he uses this as a tool to make him better for the long run," Gregg said. "It's that experience that he's needing to be able to stay up at this level and continue to pitch here. So it was great to see a quality effort like that."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement