It was just about one month ago. Zach Britton did not survive the first inning in a loss at Yankee Stadium on July 30. He gave up nine runs and seven hits in just one-third of an inning.
Today, he shut out the same club over seven innings, leading the Orioles to a 2-0 win over New York in game one of a day-night doubleheader.
Britton allowed just four hits - all singles - over seven innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 120 pitches, 73 for strikes. His 120 pitches is a season-high for an O’s starter this year.
He did not allow one Yankees runner to reach second base in improving to 8-9 with an ERA of 4.28. In two starts since returning from the disabled list, Britton has allowed one run and 10 hits over 12 innings.
Jim Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Kevin Gregg finished the shutout with a scoreless ninth, recording his 19th save. He got Alex Rodriguez to ground into a double play to end the game.
Over the last six games, Orioles starting pitchers have worked to an ERA of 1.80.
The game was a 0-0 contest until the last of the seventh. Nick Markakis led off with a double against Bartolo Colon and, with one out, scored on a Vlad Guerrero single to right. A J.J. Hardy RBI single in the eighth made it a 2-0 game and extended Hardy’s hit streak to ten games.
The Orioles have now won six in a row, out-scoring their opponents 38-9 in the process. They were 1-9 this year against the Yankees coming into this series, but have now won the first two games.
This is the Orioles first six-game win streak since April 2-8, 2008. In tonight’s contest set for a 7:35 start, Brian Matusz (1-6, 8.92) pitches against Ivan Nova (13-4, 3.97).