Zach Britton has thrown 69 pitches in three innings tonight.
He’ll need to become a little more economical with them. And real fast.
Britton walked a batter in the first inning. He walked a batter in the second. He walked two more in the third, when the Rays scored three times to take a 3-0 lead.
Britton also allowed three hits in the third - doubles by Brandon Guyer and Ben Zobrist, and a single to Sean Rodriguez.
Guyer was leading off the inning as the Rays’ No. 9 hitter. Zobrist’s double came with two outs and the count full, and it scored Guyer and B.J. Upton. Rodriguez poked a ground ball through the right side as first baseman Mark Reynolds retreated to the bag.
Zobrist actually swung at ball four - a 93 mph fastball over the plate that missed high in the strike zone.
Britton has walked 54 batters in 136 innings this season. He’s issued at least one walk in 23 of his 25 starts.
Update: The Rays scored again in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. B.J. Upton led off with a double on a 2-0 pitch, moved to third with one out on Ben Zobrist’s single on a 2-1 pitch and came home on Johnny Damon’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Sean Rodriguez got ahead, 3-0, before bouncing to the mound.
Britton has thrown 100 pitches in five innings. Jeremy Accardo was warming in the bullpen.
Update II: Jeremy Accardo replaced Britton in the sixth. Britton allowed four runs and five hits in five innings, with four walks (tying his career high) and two strikeouts He threw 100 pitches, 55 for strikes.
In his last start, Britton allowed four runs and five hits in five innings against the Yankees, with two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 85 pitches in that game.
The Orioles scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out walk to Mark Reynolds, Kyle Hudson’s single to center field and Robert Andino’s double to left. Andino has a 10-game hitting streak, tying his season and career high.
Update III: Matt Wieters hit his 18th home run to reduce Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-2 in the sixth. It snapped a 40-inning homerless streak for the Orioles, their second-longest of the season.