Is Britton struggling?

There's a question no one needed to ask just a week or two ago.

But now, after giving up five runs in just 3 2/3 in his last start, Zach Britton, the left-handed pitching prospect has an ERA of 5.71 over his past four Norfolk starts. He is 1-2, 3.57 overall in seven Triple-A starts over 35 1/3 innings.

Britton had been pitching so well, that, even with this recent stretch, his ERA is still 2.09 over his last 13 starts between Double and Triple-A.

He pitches tonight for the Tides at home vs. Charlotte. He is 1-0, 1.67 in four Harbor Park starts this year.

You know the O's are monitoring his every pitch rather closely these days as they try to decide whether he will get a call to the Majors before this season is over.

In other minors notes:

*Bowie's Joe Mahoney had a double and triple, going 2 for 5 last night and now has 13 multi-hit games in 30 contests at Bowie.

*Xavier Avery is 2 for 11 with an RBI, two singles and a run scored in his first three games at the Double-A level. He picked up his first two stolen bases for Bowie last night.

*Steven Bumbry is 0 for his last 18 at bats with Delmarva.

*Matt Angle has reached base via a hit or walk in 32 straight games for Norfolk, the second longest streak in the International League this year. Angle is batting .336 over those 32 games and is 14 for 31 during an eight-game batting streak.

*David Anderson now has nine homers at Aberdeen. That is one off Tyler Kolodny's team record of ten set in 2008.

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