Britton ties AL record with 54 consecutive saves

April 15th, 2017

TORONTO -- Zach Britton tied the American League record with his 54th consecutive save on Friday night in Baltimore's 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Britton tied Tom Gordon's mark of 54 consecutive save opportunities converted for the Boston Red Sox from 1998-99. of the Dodgers has the Major League record of 84 consecutive saves, set between 2002-04.

"Everybody in that clubhouse knows how hard that is to do what he's done," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "It's pretty hard to match on any level. I don't think anybody in our game is going to match what he did last year and continues to do this year."

Britton gave up a run on three hits on Friday before getting former teammate Steve Pearce swinging to end the game. The left-hander has now converted on five save opportunities this season and carries a 1.29 ERA over seven innings of work.

The 29-year-old Los Angeles native posted a 0.54 ERA with 47 saves last season. Britton's consecutive saves streak began on Oct. 1, 2015 at Camden Yards when he closed out the Blue Jays in another 6-4 win.

"Keep in mind, he's getting everybody's best shot," said Showalter. "When hitters are able to go up there playing with house money, they have nothing to lose, everybody expects them to fail. To continue to get three outs before they score the amount of runs that they have to. It's not easy.

"He's set a standard that I don't think you'll ever see again in your lifetime. I try to enjoy it and watch it and realize how lucky we are, and the seat I have, to watch it instead of trying to critique it every night."

Originally a third-round selection of the Orioles in the 2006 Draft, Britton has 125 saves since 2014, and was selected to the American League All-Star team in each of the past two seasons.

Crichton sent back to Norfolk

With right-hander officially recalled to make Saturday's start, the Orioles returned right-hander Stefan Crichton to the Tides.

Crichton had his contract selected on Thursday, but didn't get into a game in Toronto.

"Seems like a guy who'd be under control with his emotions, but liked to have got him in a game, came close a couple times, but he'll get an opportunity this year," said Showalter. "Want to keep him pitching. Who knows? Might be back sooner than he thinks."

A 23rd round selection by the Orioles in 2013, Crichton made two appearances with Triple-A Norfolk prior to his recall and carried a 3.86 ERA over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Resting up

J.J. Hardy got a day off Saturday from the Rogers Centre turf and it appears Chris Davis will get a turn at DH on Sunday in the series finale between the Orioles and Blue Jays.

"I wasn't going to play J.J. four days on this stuff. Even though its more dirt where he stands than it used to be, it's just wear and tear," said Showalter. "I wanted to get Ryan [Flaherty] a start and I wanted to make sure Casti [] was available today.

"I'm trying not to play our guys four days on this stuff, especially this early in the season."