Zach Britton wishes he could have one pitch back tonight.
He feels like he should have thrown a different pitch to Michael Brantley with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth. Brantley drove a two-run single to center and drove Britton out of the game.
Britton took a two-hit shutout into the sixth, but four hits and one walk later, exited the game without recording an out in the sixth.
“I felt like I could have executed a couple of pitches better that inning, but definitely going to a breaking ball right there with Brantley - left on left - that’s an opportunity for me to get a good sinker and get a ground ball,” Britton said. “Maybe we get a double play ball and minimize the damage. Unfortunately I went to my second-best pitch and it’s frustrating.
“You want to get beat on your best pitch. When you don’t you second guess yourself and that’s a bad feeling to have.
“I threw the ball well through five. I just needed to execute better in that sixth inning. They got it going with a leadoff double. Early in the game I was able to make some pitches with guys on base. I think I was trying to do too much after that leadoff double and things escalated from there.
“With Brantley I went away from my best pitch. I think I should have let him beat me on a sinker, if he was going to beat me at all. I kind of dumped a curve ball in and he hit it back up the box. In that situation I need to go with my best pitch and if they beat me, they beat me, but at least it’s with my best pitch.”
Britton gave up six hits and three runs over five plus innings.
It just got away from in that sixth inning.
“I wasn’t as sharp from the get go (that inning),” he said. “With (Jason) Kipnis, I kind of babied a fastball in there. When you have conviction behind a pitch you can miss location and still get away from it. But if you are guiding balls in there, if I’m a little sharper there I get out of that inning with one or two runs. We didn’t need a lot of runs today if I execute pitches the way I should. That one is on me.
“It’s good (his stuff was tonight) but I’d like to carry that six or seven innings. I’m not happy with it unless I am carrying that deep into the game. I want to give the guys some innings. You want to go deep every time. I know the situation with the bullpen the last couple of days.”
Matt Wieters talked about Britton’s outing and how it changed quickly when Cleveland got the runs off him in the sixth.
“He had the one inning where they put some at-bats together,” Wieters said. “Really got behind the leadoff hitter and he had to throw a strike there. It snowballed from there. With a 2-0 lead, you get behind hitters and you want to throw strikes and make them put it in play. Give them credit for getting the hits there.”
Is there any concern in the O’s clubhouse over a four-game losing streak?
“I don’t look back too much, but I think we had a six gamer not too long ago and we were able to get something going after that. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” he said.