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O'Day settles into his usual form

Righty threw fifth straight scoreless appearance vs. Rays Tuesday
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Darren O'Day is getting back on track. And that's a very, very good thing for an Orioles bullpen that could soon see the return of closer Zach Britton.

O'Day, who was dealing with illness and allowed five earned runs in his first three outings, tossed his fifth straight scoreless appearance with 1 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Rays.

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BALTIMORE -- Darren O'Day is getting back on track. And that's a very, very good thing for an Orioles bullpen that could soon see the return of closer Zach Britton.

O'Day, who was dealing with illness and allowed five earned runs in his first three outings, tossed his fifth straight scoreless appearance with 1 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Rays.

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"Darren's been good for a while," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of O'Day, who got a double-play ball to strand a pair of inherited runners in the eighth. "With Zach being out, we've had to maneuver around, try not to extend too many guys too much. But Darren had a couple days off, only a third of an inning, so we were able to extend him. He should be OK tomorrow."

With Britton -- who is slated to throw a rehab outing on Friday -- sidelined, Showalter has tried to use Brad Brach and O'Day in different games so he always has a closing option. Having all three healthy and at his disposal will make the O's bullpen even more intimidating to opponents.

O'Day, who was limited to just 34 appearances due to injury last year, posted sub-2 ERAs in 2015 and '16. He came on Tuesday in relief of Donnie Hart and, after retiring Tim Beckham on an inning-ending double play, pitched a scoreless ninth. Over his past five innings, O'Day has allowed just three hits and hasn't issued a walk.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Darren O'Day