Orioles' bullpen provides needed relief in victory
BOSTON -- Saturday was a good day for the Orioles' bullpen. The relief corps, which had given up at least one run in each of the team's first 10 games, tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings to help preserve a 4-1 series-evening victory over the Red Sox.
"It was big for us as a team. They've done too many things as a group to just start casting some doubts after 10 or 12 games," manager Buck Showalter said. "They'll reach back. They've got some strong leadership down there in Darren [O'Day] and [bullpen coach] Dom [Chiti] and don't think they're going to wallow around in woe-is-me."
O'Day got a big double-play ball in the eighth, erasing a leadoff walk to David Ortiz by fielding Hanley Ramirez's ball and firing it to second baseman Ryan Flaherty. Closer Zach Britton picked up his fourth save and righty Brad Brach also got some big outs after starter Chris Tillman exited after 5 1/3.
Brach, who entered a one-run game with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, got Daniel Nava to ground into a double play. The righty also stranded a runner on second in the seventh.
"Brad's had two or three good outings in a row," Showalter said. "These guys will start settling in and they'll find their pace. He's trying to establish a consistent track record like the one he had the last half of the year. Brad has got the arsenal to protect himself against left- and right-handed hitters."
Brach, who has allowed five earned runs over 8 1/3 innings, said that it can be hard for a reliever to flip the switch right after Spring Training.
"You can't replicate the intensity of these games, you are not facing all the same guys. So it's one of those things, you might get into a little funk and take a week to get out of it," Brach said. "Unfortunately for us, it seems like it's been magnified. I think we are all starting to turn the corner and hit our stride."