Zach Britton heads to California for wife's labor; ALCS times set for first 2 games

Orioles closer Zach Britton thought he and his wife had planned things out fairly well when they learned their first child, a son, was expected to be born this offseason.

But this offseason meant mid-October — when only four teams, at the most, are still standing. The Orioles are now one of them for the first time in 17 years, and the Brittons have had to adjust.


Courtney Britton, who is full term, planned to have her labor induced Monday night in California, Britton said. He left Baltimore around 5 p.m. Monday to join his wife there. Assuming everything goes OK and both Courtney and his son are doing well, Britton will fly back to Baltimore on Wednesday and could take part in the Orioles' workout Thursday.

At this point, Britton expects to be ready for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday.


This is the second time the Brittons have had to change their plans involving the birth of their son.

Initially, Courtney Britton was due Oct. 14, but doctors scheduled an induction for Thursday in California. It made sense, because the Orioles thought if they advanced, it was likely that they would play the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday and have a workout day in Southern California on Thursday. And Britton already would be there.

But the Royals upset the top-seeded Angels and now the Orioles host Game 1 in Baltimore on Friday.

Britton and the Orioles didn't want to risk any travel difficulties involving their closer flying across the country on the morning of Game 1 and on the day after his child is born. So this plan was hatched.


The Brittons, who met in elementary school in California, live there in the offseason.

ALCS times set for first two games

Major League Baseball announced Monday afternoon that Friday's Game 1, which will be held at Camden Yards and broadcast by TBS, will start at 8:07 p.m. ET.

Saturday's Game 2 against the Royals will start at 4:07 p.m. ET at Camden Yards. Later that night, Game 1 of the National League Championship Series will be held at 8:07 p.m. and aired on FOX.

Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Ron Darling will work as analysts for the ALCS broadcasts, with Ernie Johnson doing play-by-play. Casey Stern will host the studio show for TBS, along with Gary Sheffield and Pedro Martinez.

Shields tabbed to start Game 1 for Royals

The Royals will start right-hander James Shields in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Orioles, according to the Kansas City Star.

Shields, who was 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA during the regular season, made two starts against the Orioles this year — and he won both games.

On April 27 at Camden Yards, Shields earned the victory as Kansas City beat the Orioles, 9-3. He gave up two runs and three hits while striking out six batters and walking two in seven innings.

In Kansas City on May 18, Shields allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings as the Royals beat the Orioles, 8-6.

In his career, Shields is 11-7 with a 3.52 ERA in 26 starts against the Orioles. He won the Royals' 8-3 win over the Angels to clinch the AL Division Series on Sunday.

Chance to buy ALCS tickets

For fans who placed a minimum $250 per seat deposit on a 2015 full or partial season-ticket plan by noon Monday, the Orioles will hold an exclusive online-only presale today at 10 a.m.

A public sale for ALCS tickets will take place Thursday at noon, exclusively online at orioles.com/postseason. Availability is expected to be extremely limited, and a maximum of four tickets per ALCS game may be purchased.

For more information, go to orioles.com/postseason.



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