Britton reflects on tonight’s 4-1 win

Zach Britton became the fifth American League rookie since 1980 to win four games by the end of April. He set the Orioles’ record for wins by a rookie starting pitcher in the season’s first month.

Zach Britton recaps his performance and his fourth win of the season

“Obviously, I didn’t know that,” he said. “It’s pretty special, obviously. The fact I’m here is awesome. I was expecting to be down in Norfolk, but I’m just trying to make the best of the opportunity, and I think I’ve done that so far.

“I really don’t get that nervous out there. I don’t know what it is. It’s not that I have a huge ego or anything. I just don’t get nervous out there. I have a lot of confidence that I can get out of the jams and if I’m out there getting all worried, I think the situations blow up. So I try to take my time and take a couple breaths and get after it.”

Britton has gone six or more innings in all five starts. He held the Red Sox to one run and five hits in six innings tonight.

“I thought I kept us in the game, which is big,” he said. “I still think there’s a lot of stuff I need to improve on. Getting in deep counts with that good of a team. I think later in the game, they were able to put some good swings on the ball. I was fortunate to get out of some of those jams. But like i said, I kept us in the game and we put some runs together. Matt did a great job of calling the game and blocking some balls back there, which is huge.”

Britton walked Dustin Pedroia to load the bases with two outs in the fifth, but he induced a ground ball from Adrian Gonzalez. Nothing to it.

“I definitely wasn’t trying to walk him, especially with a guy like Adrian Gonzalez (coming up), but I wasn’t going to give him anything good to hit, especially with the game close like that,” Britton said. “Obviously, I feel a lot more comfortable with the lefty, even if it is Gonzalez, but I wasn’t trying to walk him.”

Britton knows he should have paid closer attention to Pedroia at second base in the fourth, when the lefty allowed his only run.

“I’ve got to do a better job,” he said. “He caught me off guard stealing third. I wasn’t expecting that. That’s good baserunning by him. I’ll keep that in the back of my mind next time we play them.”

The sinker continues to be a huge pitch for Britton.

“It’s been just as good as the other outings,” he said. “I was able to locate it better, which is big. It can move all it wants, but if I’m throwing it over the heart of the plate, they’re going to get good swings on it. I was able to mix it in and out pretty good today. I think that’s why I got so many ground balls.”

Those ground balls helped Britton improve to 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA.

“I think I’ve gone out there and given this team an opportunity to win every time out, and that’s my goal,” he said. “It’s not about setting a record for wins in a month for a rookie or anything like that. It’s not about having a sub-3.00 ERA. It’s about keeping our team in the game every time out, and that’s what I’m hoping to continue to do.”

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