"I don't know if 'relieved' is the word. It just takes some patience to, for instance, not use him yesterday or the day before and let stuff take its course," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Britton, who got a few days off after Thursday's precautionary MRI on his left knee. "It's just the patience. It's hard this time of year to have that. We all know what Zach's capable of doing ... but Zach will be the first to tell you tonight was tonight and tomorrow is tomorrow. Just hope we get another situation for him. He was going to pitch the ninth inning tonight regardless of the score."
Britton, who issued a one-out walk before inducing a game-ending double-play ball, has 12 saves on the season. And while the lefty understood Showalter's reasoning in not bringing him in during the Orioles' three-game sweep over the Red Sox at Fenway Park he was still itching to get back out there.
"I was ready to go yesterday," said Britton, who had a pregame bullpen session Sunday, but wasn't used in the game's save situation. "Just a normal member of the bullpen right now. This knee issue is something I've had since 2014 so it's not anything new to us inside the clubhouse. So we aren't going to treat it any differently than we had the last few years."
Britton, whose MRI showed no structural damage, will continue to wear the same knee brace he's pitched with since '14, and he reiterated pregame Monday the issue is minor and isn't anything new. The team wanted him to get it evaluated again on the off-day after Britton allowed two runs on three hits, while recording just one out against the A's, snapping a record streak of 60 consecutive converted saves.
"No, I wouldn't say [the knee] was [a factor]," Britton said of Wednesday's blown save. "After that outing, they wanted me to get it looked at. But as for in-game, if you want to nitpick, there's so many other things. I think that definitely wasn't one of the issues."