Updating Britton, Labor Day start time and more

Orioles closer Zach Britton underwent an MRI this morning on his left knee and the results were positive, according to one person in the organization.

zach-britton-in-white-close-Sidebar.pngWhether the good news keeps Britton off the disabled list will be determined later today or Friday, when the Orioles begin a three-game series in Boston.

Britton blew his first save yesterday after 60 successful conversions in a row, an American League record, but the Orioles defeated the Athletics 8-7 in 12 innings on Manny Machado’s leadoff home run.

Britton is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA, 11 saves and 1.737 WHIP in 28 appearances and has twice gone on the disabled list with a strained left forearm.

Manager Buck Showalter revealed yesterday that Britton has been bothered by some soreness in the knee, which has led to a more cautious approach to using him. Britton threw only four pitches Monday night while retiring a batter and notching his latest save, but he wasn’t called upon yesterday until the ninth inning as the Athletics rallied to get within 6-5.

Showalter didn’t attempt to get a four-out save from Brittton, who downplayed the issue while talking to reporters after the game. He said the latest discomfort started to “creep up” on him a couple of weeks ago.

“Gosh, I probably had it since like 2014,” Britton said. “I got my cleats stuck one time in Toronto on their turf and it’s something that was kind of bothering me. I think I pitched through it the last three or four years. So, (Dr. Michael Jacobs) kind of wants me to get it checked out.

“I was kind of pushing it off. He said, ‘Let’s just look at it.’ I’ll be going to Boston. It’s not something that’s going to prevent me from going with the team. He just wants to see where it’s at, if there’s anything that needs to get cleaned up maybe. I don’t think it’s anything serious. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to pitch on it, but I’m going to do that and we’ll find out.”

* The starting time for the Labor Day game against the Yankees on Sept. 4 at Camden Yards has been moved from 1:35 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. Gates will open at noon.

The game will air on MASN and all fans will receive a Tim Beckham T-shirt.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Beckham and Matt Holliday (2009) are the only players in the modern era - since 1900 - with 40 hits in their first 22 games with a team after playing for another team earlier in the season.

Also according to Elias, Machado and Fred Lynn are the only players in franchise history with two walk-off home runs within a span of six days or fewer. Lynn did it in back-to-back wins over the Twins on May 10-11, 1985.

Machado and the Blue Jays’ Steve Pearce at the only players this season with two game-ending home runs within a span of seven days.

In an odd twist, Machado and Pearce hit their walk-offs against the Athletics and Angels.

* J.J. Hardy played shortstop again today for Triple-A Norfolk in Game 1 of a doubleheader and went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and run scored. He’s expected to sit out Game 2.

Gabriel Ynoa tossed six scoreless innings against Charlotte, allowing only two hits, walking two and striking out five, to lower his ERA to 5.38.

Logan Verrett is taking the mound for Game 2 after Mike Wright had been listed as the starter. The Virginian-Pilot reports that Wright is a healthy scratch. The Orioles may be keeping him available in case of a roster move.

The Orioles are working with a six-man bullpen and Miguel Castro threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings yesterday to earn the win.

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