The Orioles improved to 1-11 at home when scoring three runs or fewer.
You knew they wouldn’t be blanked all season.
Tonight’s game marked the first time two pitchers went nine innings or more and were both non-decisioned since July 10, 2010 - Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay and Cincinnati’s Travis Wood. It’s the third time since 2000.
“It was another great team win tonight,” Zach Britton said. “My job was to keep us in the game as long as possible. You’ve got to tip your hat to (Jason) Vargas, who threw the ball really well. When’s that going to happen again, two guys going like that? You just tip your cap to that guy. Fortunately, J.J. (Hardy) came up big right there and we won the game. That’s big.”
Did Britton have his best stuff?
“I think so,” he said, “I was able to incorporate all three pitches today, whereas I haven’t been able to do that in the past. I was able to get ahead of guys. Not walking guys is huge, too. That helps you go deep in the game. The defense was fantastic today. That’s big league defense right there, and Matt (Wieters) did a great job behind the plate. It was a great team win.”
Asked about the emotions in the dugout, Britton replied, “Our guys were frustrated, obviously, but they’re not trying not to score me a run. They’re frustrated with some of their at-bats, but like I said, you tip your cap to Vargas. He threw the ball really well. When is that going to happen again?”
Britton didn’t think about whether he’d leave the game after the eighth inning.
“I know I’m done when Buck (Showalter) comes over and shakes my hand,” Britton said. “He didn’t do that, so I figured, ‘Hey, I’m back out there. Just keep the team close.’”
May as well let J.J. Hardy talk about Britton. Everybody else was doing it.
“Oh my God, he was unbelievable,” Hardy said. “Those guys weren’t taking very many good swings and he was mixing up his pitches well and hitting spots. He did really well tonight.
“We wanted to win it in the ninth for Zach, but once we were down, we definitely didn’t give up, and that was a big win for us.
“I know everyone in the lineup wants to score runs for him. When you have a pitcher that goes out there and does that, you want to get him the win. But as a team, it was just good to get that win in the end.”
May as well let Hardy talk about Hardy, who had the game-winning hit.
“I was just trying to think about hitting the ball hard,” he said. “I really didn’t want to think about trying to stay out of the double play or trying to elevate it. I just wanted to hit the ball hard. He threw a sinker first pitch and then he threw another sinker second pitch, and I was able to find a hole.”
Now it’s Derrek Lee’s turn to talk about Britton:
“Great composure, along with great stuff,” Lee said. “That’s a great combination. His fastball has so much movement on it, with good velocity, and he located it. He’s fun to watch.”
Lee was disappointed that the Orioles couldn’t score for him.
“I told, ‘Our bad,’” Lee said. “You pitch that good, you should get a win. But their guy did a good job, too. He’s going to get his fair share of wins.”
Lee called the outcome “a character-building win right there.”
“It was kind of a frustrating night offensively,” he said. “We couldn’t get anything going and they scored a run in the 12th. One run in this game seemed like 10 runs. But we hung in there and came right back with two to win it. I think it showed a lot of character.”