The hits just kept coming against Zach Britton tonight. Twelve, to be exact.
Britton left the game in the sixth inning with the score tied, 4-4, and two runners on base. Billy Butler grounded a single into left field off reliever Jim Johnson, and Alex Gordon raced home with the go-ahead run.
It got worse.
Another run scored that was charged to Britton, completing his line, and Johnson surrendered three of his own. The Royals sent 11 batters to the plate - feasting on infield singles, seeing-eye grounders and well-placed fly balls - and took a 9-4 lead.
Britton is charged with six runs (four earned) and a career-high 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. Gordon, a left-handed hitter, went 4-for-4 against him.
The Royals have hits in every inning.
A pitcher scatters 12 hits if he only allows a run or two. I’m not sure Britton can be credited with scattering them any longer.
Chris Davis’ opposite-field double gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead, but it seems like forever ago after that bottom of the sixth.
Johnson made another early appearance tonight. He didn’t used to be a sixth-inning reliever, but times have changed.
All that remains is the losing.
Update: The Orioles lost again, 9-4.
J.J. Hardy left the game with a sore left ankle.