Orioles, Joe Saunders talk about Mariners' 6-2 win on Monday

SEATTLE -- The Orioles lost to former teammate Joe Saunders and the Seattle Mariners, 6-2, Monday night at Safeco Field.

Here's what some of the key figures had to say afterward:


Buck Showalter on Zach Britton: "Pitched OK. All things considered. I think the last inning he gave up runs they hit one ball out of the infield. He got through the first inning, I thought he fared well after he gave up the home run. He gave us a chance. We just didn't do much off Saunders."

Showalter on Saunders: "He pitched well, obviously. It's not any big secret about what Joe is going to do. You've just got to make the adjustment a little bit. He mixed in a lot of pitches like he does. The reason he has been pitching for a long time. We just didn't make the adjustment to what he was doing. You keep putting the ball on the ground over there, you're going to get a lot of outs."


Showalter on whether Britton stays in rotation: "We'll see where we are. We want to see how his shoulder is. He took a right-on-the-button blow from the throw (from the umpire). Nobody is trying to hit him or anything. Thought he was looking. Nothing you can do about it. It's just unfortunate. I think he is fine. He felt good. But like always we see how we best present ourselves in the next start and Zach is certainly a good option."

Showalter overall on Britton giving up tough hits: "He went through some periods there where he was good. There were some balls there that … I don't really feel like they really centered him up a lot other than the home run. But they had some good at-bats off him, something we weren't able to do off Joe."

Showalter on Britton bouncing back next time after a rough line Monday: "I don't look at it as a gloom-and doom, that bad of a start. The problem was tonight we didn't do anything off their starter. That's a whole different ballgame if we can put a little more pressure on him. Other than Matt we didn't really put any pressure on him. So it is magnified if you are just looking at numbers by what we scored. You look at starts differently if we win 7-6 we'd be having different conversations. I try to keep reality in mind."

Showalter on Saunders' dominance at Safeco: "We are aware of it. … It's something you are constantly looking at. It doesn't surprise you any. It doesn't surprise you any by what he is doing. It's frustrating that you have a good idea of what he is doing and still he can do it, but that's major league pitchers."

Showalter on the ump plunk: "Alan (Porter) thought he was looking at him and he wasn't. It him on the shoulder and stung him a little bit, but he pitched pretty well after that. That inning they hit one ball out of the infield on him."

Zach Britton on his performance:
"It wasn't a great day. A lot of hits, but a lot of ground balls that kind of got through when guys got on base. Just one pitch away from getting out of those innings…just a matter of getting the ball down and getting a ground ball. For the most part, a couple broken-bat hits and some ground balls. and when you are trying to get ground balls, sometimes they sneak through the hole and the next outing they can find guys. It's frustrating but it wasn't all bad. There was some good spots. I was hoping to give the teams some innings. Six is not ideal but it's a little bit more than some games I've had in the past."

Britton on carrying over success from Norfolk: "Pitching to contact and I think with guys on base if I locate the sinker a little better…if I get that down, I get the ground balls. And in Norfolk I was getting ground balls. Up here they are a little bit better hitters and you leave it up and they are going to do damage."

Britton on the momentum changer: "I think the turn of the game is after we scored and went ahead (in the fourth), being able to shut the door right there. And unfortunately I wasn't able to do that."


Britton on being hit by the umpire's throw: "Yeah, the umpire smoked me. I had no idea, I was looking down at the ball and all of a sudden another ball hit me. I had no idea what was going on, but it didn't feel great. … Just (hit me) right on top of the shoulder, kind of hit a nerve so it kind of tingled for a second. … I was like, 'Oh boy. Here we go again.'"

Britton on giving up lots of singles: "It's frustrating. Better hitters up here so if you get a little bit more of the plate they are going to find holes. Two balls down the line, that's a little frustrating. Next time that might be right at Manny, right at Chris. You kind of live on the edge when you are falling behind like I was today. As a ground ball pitcher, you go, 'hey I got my ground ball it just wasn't right at a guy' so you try to turn the page and do better. But unfortunately with guys on base I just couldn't make that one pitch to get out of those jams."

Britton's overall assessment: "Definitely don't like the results. I like the fact that I was getting ground balls, it shows that what I was doing there translates up here. It's just a matter of fine-tuning it and locating it so maybe they hit it softer or at guys and it's that one pitch to get out of that inning."

Catcher Matt Wieters on Britton: "He was down and getting ground balls and his change-up was there for him and he was able to mix in some breaking balls. He just had a couple innings, a couple stretches there where he got up in the zone or they got a free base. For the most part his stuff was good. I just think the main thing he wish he had was to be able to locate on the inside of the plate to some of their right-handed hitters."

Wieters on Britton getting hit by ball: "I don't think I've ever seen that before. I turned when the ball was headed about halfway to the mound and I could tell it was about to square him up."

Wieters on Saunders: "We knew what Joe was going to do. Everyone sort of knows what Joe is going to do. That's why he's good and that's why he's pitched for so long. He's able to make the ball move late and get ground balls and get weak contact. Anytime you can get the ball to move late and get balls to miss barrels you are going to have a successful career. And we knew what kind of pitcher we had with Joe and he threw the ball well tonight."


Joe Saunders on his performance: "This outing, I had my command. I had a little problem with my backside last start, and a slight little quad issue that was preventing me from pushing off, not to make excuses. But I was piss-poor last start and needed to make up for it tonight."

Saunders on getting lots of ground balls: "I knew I had a good sinker, and (catcher Jesus Montero) he was calling it. Fortunately against a really good hitting ballclub, they hit it on the ground and the defense was amazing behind me. They turned some big double plays and I just made one mistake to Wieters."

Saunders on how much his knowledge of Orioles helped: "Not too much. I enjoyed my time there a lot. We did some great things over there, but I'm here now. It's time to beat them. That's my job. I knew them a little bit, but you still have to watch video and see what they're doing. I tried to keep this as plain Jane as I could and keep my normal routine."

Saunders on being so good at Safeco: "I don't know, man. Notoriously, I'm better on the road, so I don't know what's going on. I have to figure that out a little bit. I need to be better on the road. I pride myself on being a good road pitcher, and I haven't done that well this year. I need to be a lot more consistent. We'll work on that in Toronto."

Saunders on the complete game: "It's always significant, because every pitcher says that's their job. But it's frickin' hard to do. You need to have some breaks, and get quick outs nowadays, because once you get those hundred pitches, it's bullpen ready, here we go. It's tough. You've got to be efficient these days and get quick outs. The defense was amazing behind me and we got some clutch hits. It was awesome."

Saunders on pitch that Wieters hit for homer: "Inside fastball. I tried to keep it down because he's a good highball hitter. Coming from experience I know that. Just missed it a little up in the zone."