Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Crush regains clutch form, but O's fall in 11th

Valencia homers in second straight game; Britton yields game-tying homer to Mariners
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Orioles fans can take heart in knowing that first baseman Chris Davis showed flashes of his old self on Wednesday night. But vintage Zach Britton is nowhere to be found.

Britton, who allowed a game-tying ninth-inning homer to Kyle Seager in the Orioles' 8-7, 11-inning loss to the Mariners, has struggled to regain his All-Star form since undergoing offseason right Achilles surgery in December. The lefty, who made his season debut earlier this month, has a 7.04 ERA and has allowed multiple runs in two of eight outings.

View Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- Orioles fans can take heart in knowing that first baseman Chris Davis showed flashes of his old self on Wednesday night. But vintage Zach Britton is nowhere to be found.

Britton, who allowed a game-tying ninth-inning homer to Kyle Seager in the Orioles' 8-7, 11-inning loss to the Mariners, has struggled to regain his All-Star form since undergoing offseason right Achilles surgery in December. The lefty, who made his season debut earlier this month, has a 7.04 ERA and has allowed multiple runs in two of eight outings.

View Full Game Coverage

"Just kind of leaving pitches over the plate that are kind of flat, not a whole lot of movement to them," said Britton, who surrendered four runs on Friday in Atlanta. "Both times, I felt kind of out of whack with my delivery, and that's kind of been kind of the main culprit is just trying to get consistent now and repeat my delivery. It just hasn't been there for me these last two weeks.

Video: SEA@BOS: Seager crushes game-tying 2-run homer in 9th

"It's going to take repetition and finding the delivery that I need to do to get the sink consistent, the command consistent, and that's just what I'm going to have to do to get back to myself. … I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I didn't want it to be like this, but it is what it is and I've just got to push through it."

Britton -- who went a perfect 47-for-47 in saves in 2016 -- took the blown save, paving the way for the Orioles' eventual loss on a sacrifice fly off of lefty Donnie Hart that was charged to the preceding pitcher, Mychal Givens.

"He's just inconsistent with some of the things that he spoiled us with for a long time here," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Britton. "He's still one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, and he's shown that. Not necessarily flashes. He's shown extended periods in those eight outings. It's just going to take a little while for him to find his step, but he will."

Video: SEA@BAL: Span plates Segura, Mariners up in the 11th

It marked the O's fourth consecutive loss, washing away all the goodwill from Davis' blast to cap the eighth -- a two-out, three-run homer that gave the Orioles a temporary two-run lead.

Davis, who was signed to a record $161 million deal that includes three more seasons beyond 2018, sent Alex Colome's 3-1 pitch screaming past the right-field flag court for the first Orioles homer to hit Eutaw Street this season.

"It was great for Chris off a good relief pitcher, obviously," Showalter said. "Had a lot of good at-bats. Scored enough runs that should hold up, but that makes it disappointing. It's still a nice contribution from Chris."

Danny Valencia, whose two-run homer put the Orioles on the board in the first, followed Manny Machado with a single. After Jonathan Schoop's one-out tapper to the mound put runners on the corners, Davis unloaded on Colome's 90-mph cutter.

Video: SEA@BAL: Valencia mashes a 2-run homer in the rain

But the goodwill didn't last long. In fact, it lasted just two batters before Seager put one in the seats.

"Hopefully, it gets here sooner rather than later," said Britton, who said he hasn't felt like himself yet in any outing back on the mound. "I just want to be better the next time around. That's all I can really do. It's been a struggle. Tonight's about as frustrated as I've been in a long time."

Britton wasn't the only one, as starter Alex Cobb went just 4 2/3 innings. Cobb gave up eight hits and three walks, and he was charged with five runs as he continues to struggle to put together a consistent stretch.

Video: SEA@BAL: Cobb rings up Seager in the 3rd

"The inconsistency on my end, really never dealt with it before," Cobb said, "but it's really unacceptable to keep going out there and having a good game, and a game where you don't give much of an opportunity for your team to win."

Orioles reliever Mike Wright Jr. threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings after Cobb. Brad Brach followed him and tossed a scoreless seventh.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Machado's hustle: Booed for his slow jog to first base during Tuesday's loss, Machado turned it around on Wednesday. His aggressive baserunning on an errant throw by Mariners left fielder Denard Span saw the O's score a second run off Mark Trumbo's RBI single to take a 4-2 lead in the third. The ball bounced off the backstop, and Machado raced home to beat the tag.

Video: SEA@BAL: Trumbo's hit produces 2 runs after an error

SOUND SMART
The Orioles have lost 14 of their past 15 games at Camden Yards.

Trumbo extended his hit streak to 11 games with his single in the third.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With Cobb out of the game and runners aboard, Trey Mancini kept Seattle from any more than three runs in the fifth. Mancini make a terrific diving grab in the left-center-field gap on Guillermo Heredia's line drive to end the frame.

Video: SEA@BAL: Mancini lays out to make a wonderful catch

HE SAID IT
"I don't think it's [missing some time] last year. I think it's not being able to do the things I normally do in the offseason, from working out to throwing, because I had surgery. It's a lot of rest, a lot of trying to re-remember being out on the mound and how I was successful in the delivery. It's just finding a way now, where I'm at physically, to get the job done.

"Maybe it's not the way I was throwing a year ago, two years ago. I've got to find another way to make it happen. That's what I've got to do. You can't be stubborn. You've got to branch out and figure out, 'OK, how am I going to get back to myself now?' And you've got be a little bit open-minded about certain things that I'm going to do and try, and that's all I can do to get back to where I want to be. Because it's not anywhere close right now, obviously. So I've got a lot of work to get back to where I want to get to." -- Britton, on regaining his form

UP NEXT
Orioles righty Jimmy Yacabonis will get the start in place of injured Dylan Bundy, making the first Major League start of his career. Yacabonis, who has 16 career big league relief outings, will face Seattle righty Mike Leake in the series finale. First pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m. ET.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Alex Cobb, Chris Davis, Danny Valencia