Britton keeps the Tigers off the board early in Detroit

In his return to the majors and the Orioles rotation, Zach Britton would like it to be more than a one-night appearance.

Over the first three innings tonight, he has pitched out of a few jams and kept the Tigers off the board in a game that is 0-0 heading to the fourth.

Britton has allowed four hits through three frames with two walks and two strikeouts. But he got a big double-play ball to end the first and another DP ball in the second.

Detroit got an Austin Jackson leadoff double in the third and Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked with one out. Then Britton got Prince Fielder on a called third strike and Jhonny Peralta lined to center to end the inning. Britton has thrown 53 pitches, 29 strikes through three.

Britton does not exactly enter this start on a high note. In his last Triple-A start on Monday, he gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings. In his last three Orioles starts, he has allowed 20 runs over 13 1/3 innings against Oakland, New York and Seattle.

He won his only start against the Tigers, on Sept. 22, 2011 in Motown, as he allowed five earned runs in five innings. The Birds scored the decisive run in the top of the sixth while he was still the pitcher of record. In 17 career road starts, he is 6-7 with a 6.78 ERA and five quality starts and the Orioles are 8-9 in those games.

The Orioles tonight are trying to win after losing the last two games to fall to 64-55. They are 1-3 against Detroit and 32-26 in road games in 2012. They have won nine of their last 13 and 12 of their last 18 games.

Detroit is 64-55 also and is 17-3 in its last 20 home games. The Tigers are 28-16 since June 28 and that is the best record in the AL in that time.

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