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Britton down to 1 rehab start, eager to return

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton said Saturday he's ready to go and the lefty -- who has made six rehab appearances -- is anxious to get back and help the club.

"It's pretty much get through [Triple-A] Norfolk, don't do anything stupid, and get up to Milwaukee," said Britton, who has a final rehab outing on Monday before joining the O's. "I've thrown all my breaking balls, command has gotten better as I've gone, velocity has gone up, sinker is there, delivery feels good. So, not a whole lot I need to work on other than get through that inning in Norfolk."

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BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton said Saturday he's ready to go and the lefty -- who has made six rehab appearances -- is anxious to get back and help the club.

"It's pretty much get through [Triple-A] Norfolk, don't do anything stupid, and get up to Milwaukee," said Britton, who has a final rehab outing on Monday before joining the O's. "I've thrown all my breaking balls, command has gotten better as I've gone, velocity has gone up, sinker is there, delivery feels good. So, not a whole lot I need to work on other than get through that inning in Norfolk."

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If it were up to Britton, he'd forgo the last outing. But the O's have been very cautious with the lefty, who came back too soon off the disabled list the first time around with his left forearm strain. Britton is currently on the 60-day DL, retroactive to May 5.

He finished up his time with Double-A on Friday, throwing 11 pitches in that outing and feeling particularly sharp. Britton said it was in his previous rehab outing for Bowie that he started to feel like his old self again.

"I felt like I was there, but I could use another inning. Yesterday, probably after the second hitter, I knew I was ready to go. So now I got to do the one in Norfolk, I wish I didn't have to, but that's where we are. "

Worth Noting
• First baseman Chris Davis will start throwing Monday and could hit later in the week.

• Orioles starter Chris Tillman will travel with the team to Milwaukee on Sunday night, but with his wife due to give birth any day, the team has contingency plans in place in case he can't make Wednesday's scheduled start.

J.J. Hardy, currently on the DL with a wrist injury, also sustained a fractured rib from a collision in New York in June. That injury isn't expected to delay his timeline on returning.

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, Zach Britton