Here are some quotes that flowed in the Orioles’ clubhouse tonight and splattered on my laptop:
Zach Britton talked about his outing:
“I thought it was pretty good, obviously better than the previous couple outings. It felt good to kind of get back in a groove and make some good pitches, especially after they gave us some runs. I was a little frustrated that I gave up some more hits right there, started falling behind guys, but to get out of that inning was big for me.”
On listening to Wieters when pitching to Josh Willingham:
“Yeah, definitely. The pitch he hit in Oakland was a hanging changeup, not a good pitch. So I just made sure that if I was going inside on him, I just kept the ball down, and thankfully that one ball he hit he didn’t get enough of it.”
On the bullpen:
“They’ve been great the last couple of games. They’re stocked down there. (To have) J.J. to come in and strand those runners there was big. It gives us another inning to get to Kevin, which is really big and he’s been lights out.”
On the heat:
“It definitely takes a lot to get used to. It is really hot out there. I feel like the stadium kind of holds in the heat. In the minor leagues you kind of get a breeze going because you don’t have the stands (in the upper deck). It’s a lot to get used to, but at the same time, everyone is dealing with it, so you’ve kind of got to make sure that you’re drinking a lot of fluids in the dugout, staying out of the heat if you can. It’s a challenge, but you work around it.”
On whether not getting a win in his last six starts was wearing on him:
“No, not at all. I feel like wins are a tough indicator of how well you are doing or not doing. But it feels good to get a win, more so that we got a sweep. It’s always good when the team wins. You kind of just give your best effort and if you get a win individually, who knows? It’s just good to go out there and give the team some good innings this time around and get a win.”
On whether he was crisper tonight:
“I kind of moved over on the other side of the mound. I was on the third base side, went back to the first base side. And I felt like I had a little better action on my pitches. My slider was there today. I think moving to the other side of the mound helped me get a little bit better action the slider, which came up big.
On why he moved:
“It was something that Mark Connor saw in the ‘pen. He felt like I was losing life on my slider by being on the third base side. I had always pitched on the first base side. This year was the first time I moved over there. And we said, ‘Let’s go back over there and see how that works,’ and I felt like this allowed me to finish my pitches better today.”
OK, now it’s third baseman Mark Reynolds’ turn.
On the home run:
“He (Josh Outman) had just given up a hit on a changeup, so I thought he might come back with a heater first pitch. And he left it kind of middle and down, and that’s where I like it.”
On whether he’s more relaxed:
“Maybe a little bit. They say when the weather heats up, the bats heat up, and definitely coming from Arizona where it’s warm all the time, not really used to cold weather. So, yeah, definitely. It’s kind of a comfort thing as well. We just faced these guys like two weeks ago, we’ve seen them before, so hopefully I can keep staying consistent and keep putting good swings on pitches.”
More on the home run:
“It was a good pitch, kind of down. Middle, away, and that’s his bread and butter. He’s got a good heater. I was just sitting first-pitch heater and he threw it.”
On the difference in this team here compared to the awful West Coast trip:
“That road trip I think was kind of one of those things where we go out, West Coast, first time out there, and I don’t think we were ready to play at all, especially in the cold weather. It’s tough. But both teams were playing in the same conditions. We get back home, and we’re playing good defense and our bullpen has been unbelievable lately. And that’s the formula for winning.”
Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk’s Brad Bergesen made quick work of the Pawtucket Red Sox, needing just 2 hours, 13 minutes to toss a complete-game shutout. Bergesen (2-0, 0.60) threw 102 pitches and tied a Tides season-high with eight strikeouts. He allowed four hits and only one batter reached scoring position. Bergesen retired the last nine batters of the game.
It marked the first nine-inning, complete-game shutout for a Tides pitcher since Chris Tillman on July 5, 2010 at Charlotte.