Showalter and more Britton

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles defeated the Yankees, 6-2, before 8,347 at Ed Smith Stadium.

Would be much nicer if it happened at Camden Yards with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano in the Yankees’ lineup, but a win is a win.


Manager Buck Showalter will decide tomorrow afternoon whether Derrek Lee is making the trip to Fort Myers for the night game against the Twins. If Lee goes, he’ll play first base.

Lee didn’t run full-speed to first base on a grounder to short, but he was following orders.

“We told him to do that,” Showalter said.

Brian Roberts, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts, will stay back in Sarasota. Vladimir Guerrero said he wanted to go, so he’s on the trip.

Showalter thought Zach Britton’s stuff was good today, though the left-hander ran his pitch count to 90 in five-plus innings.

“Had a lot of life to his fastball,” Showalter said. “I’d like to see his pitch count be a little lower than 90. I wanted to get him back up for that sixth inning, and it worked out.”

On the same day that Britton was holding the Yankees to one run, Chris Tillman was allowing one run in six innings in a minor league game at Twin Lakes Park.

“All the guys are doing what it takes to stay in the thought process,” Showalter said. “I don’t feel like anybody has really separated themselves. That’s a good thing for us as an organization. We don’t feel any differently as far as good things about guys than we did coming in here. That’s one of the things they can control, and I’m real proud of the way they’ve gone about their work and been good teammates to each other through the process.”

Showalter will meet with his coaches tomorrow to discuss the next round of cuts. Britton could be on the list, or he could make another start.

Asked whether Britton has one more start left here, Showalter replied, “He’s scheduled, but something could happen in the meeting where that may change. I think his next is in the split-squad games (Sunday with Boston and Toronto).”

Britton’s service clock won’t start if he’s in the minors for the first 20 days of the season, delaying when he can become a free agent.

“I want to be one of the best five. I feel like if I’m one of the best five, hopefully I’ll go,” he said. “I’m not really trying to pay too much attention to that. If I get cut, obviously that will be something that crosses my mind, but right now I’m trying to be one of the best five.”

Britton didn’t allow a run for his first 11 spring innings, not counting the five scoreless in a minor league game.

“I knew it was going to happen,” he said. “I’m not going to throw shutout innings every time out. When you get in those situations and you get in deep counts, it’s bound to happen where guys are going to scrape a run across on you.”

Britton is still throwing about 90 percent fastballs.

“I did throw a lot of off-speed pitches today, but I’m always around 90 percent fastballs because I’m a fastball pitcher, so I’m not going to try to trick guys with my off-speed stuff,” he said. “Today, I was probably right around the same thing, but I did throw a lot of sliders.”

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