Zach Britton took a shutout into the sixth inning tonight and ended up taking a loss.
Britton didn't retire a batter in the sixth and allowed three runs in the Orioles' 5-2 loss to the Indians at Camden Yards.
"Just elevated some balls, lost his command," said manager Buck Showalter. "Strikes and balls, and straightened some out. He had pretty good movement, late life. He got out of some potential sticky situations, but I thought he pitched well for five innings. But he wasn't able... Different stuff showed up there in the sixth."
Britton allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in his last start in Detroit.
"I thought he had a little better stuff (tonight)," Showalter said. "He lost command of it in the sixth inning. You've got a team that's playing well in Cleveland, and bases on balls... What, did we walk four or five guys tonight, hit a guy? What did he have, around 75, 80 pitches going into the sixth? And then he wasn't able to perform at the same level after the fifth inning. He had good enough stuff to get a lot deeper."
Darren O'Day gave up a two-run homer to Michael Brantley in the eighth.
"We'd have liked to have held it at 3-2," Showalter said. "Darren and Brian (Matusz) and Tommy (Hunter) all had rest, but we weren't able to. We continue to get those short outings from our starters, that's why we keep having to make changes to keep people healthy. And our starters know that. It's not for a lack of effort.
"Sometimes, that creates anxiety with some guys. Some guys it doesn't."
Is that the case with Britton?
"I don't know if 'worry' is the word," Showalter said. "They know what their job description is. They know what we have to have. It's something we've done this year on occasion. We were a lot more consistent with it last year, and if we get that consistency again, we'll be very competitive."
O'Day has allowed homers in back-to-back outings after surrendering only two before the weekend series in Toronto.
"He's trying to get a ball in and he let it leak out over the plate," Showalter said. "He makes a lot of good pitches. He's pitched well for us this year and last year, and will again."