After giving up just one run over his first 15 2/3 major league innings, Zach Britton allowed four in the last of the third at Cleveland tonight as the Tribe took the lead on the Orioles.
Britton looked sharp at the start tonight, retiring the first six batters with three strikeouts.
But Cleveland, which is 8-4 and tied for first in the AL Central, broke through with a four-run, six-hit inning. It included Lou Marson’s RBI single, Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run single and a Travis Hafner sac fly.
Two plays on defense hurt Britton’s cause, one he was involved in. Matt LaPorta led off the inning with a triple. His blast to left caromed off the wall and past Luke Scott back toward the infield. Scott’s throw to third looked in time to record an out but it appeared Mark Reynolds dropped the one-hop throw and it went for a three-base hit.
With a run in and two men on, leadoff hitter Michael Brantley dropped a bunt down the third-base line. Britton charged over, fielded it and threw to first. The call was safe on a bang-bang play. Had Britton let charging third baseman Reynolds take that ball, he might have gotten the out since his momentum was taking him to the ball and Britton had to turn and throw to first.
It was still a nice play by Britton, the throw was just ruled late.
So, the kid finally hits a rough spot. He still kept his poise, did not come unglued and it could have been worse. But now the O’s trail 4-1 and have some work to do to avoid a five-game losing streak.