Manager Buck Showalter reminded reporters tonight that we’re not looking “at the finished body” when Zach Britton takes the mound. Britton is a rookie with limited experience above the Double-A level.
He’s also 6-6 with a 3.38 ERA after allowing four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings in tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Cardinals.
Britton has one victory in his last 10 starts.
“This is a 23-year-old young man trying to establish himself in the big leagues with about half a year in Triple-A, and he’s doing well,” Showalter said. “That’s the top-hitting team in the National League. It’s more a case of us not doing much against (Kyle) Lohse and their bullpen, other than (Ryan) Franklin.
“Holding them to three or four, we’ll take that. And who knows, maybe he could have finished the sixth and maybe the seventh. But I don’t think his start...it was more about not doing much offensively. It’s a process for him and he’s doing some things real well and some things he’ll do better at as he goes forward. He’s doing well, all things considered. You take all things into perspective.”
The Orioles hit into two more double plays, but only one of them really bothered Showalter. Robert Andino was doubled off first base on J.J. Hardy’s line drive to Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto, which ended the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We hit into one that we can avoid. That’s the line drive. That shouldn’t happen. That was disappointing,” Showalter said.
Showalter was asked whether Vladimir Guerrero’s struggles at the plate - he left three more runners on base and ended the first and third innings - can be traced to the games he missed while the Orioles lost the designated hitter in Washington and Pittsburgh.
“I can’t say that for sure, but I will tell you it wasn’t like he was doing anything a whole lot different the week leading up to that, either,” Showalter said. “To say it wouldn’t be a reason would probably be just blindly looking and hoping, but I can’t say that for sure. But it’s not like there was a completely different guy before we started the interleague on the road.”