Brilliant Britton with his best start yet

Zach Britton did everything but get a win tonight with his amazing nine innings of scoreless baseball.

It’s the first time this year Britton did not get a decision, but with a single run of offensive support, he could have easily been the Orioles’ first six-game winner before May was over since Kris Benson in 2006.

Britton is now 5-2 with an ERA of 2.42 through his first eight major league starts. That is the 7th best ERA in the American League and he is tied for 4th in the AL with five wins. His opponent batting average against is down to .203 after this game.

Tonight, Britton:

*Pitched a season-high nine innings, the longest outing this year by an O’s starter.

*Did not allow a runner past first base and retired the last 13 batters he faced. He needed just 41 pitches in his final four innings. Seattle hitters batted just .103 against Britton, going 3-for-29 at bat.

*Lowered his ERA on the year to 2.42, and at home to 1.85 in five Camden Yards starts.

*Allowed one run or fewer in a start for the third time in his last four outings and for the fifth time in eight starts in 2011.

*Threw 108 pitches, 76 strikes. He needed 14 pitches to get through the first inning, and then, in order, threw 14, 11, 17, 11, 11, 12, 8 and 10 pitches. He was getting more pitch efficient as the game wore on.

*Improved his statistics over his last four starts to 2-1 with an ERA of 1.71. Opponent batters have hit just .181 with 17 total hits off Britton over his past four starts.

By the way, Orioles’ starters pitched to an ERA of 1.29 in this series, allowing just three earned runs on 10 hits over 21 innings. This was the Orioles’ 20th quality start on the season and they are 14-6 in those games.

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