BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton had been dominant for nearly two full years, but every streak eventually comes to an end. His American League-record saves streak of 60 was snapped on Wednesday in the Orioles' 8-7, 12-inning walk-off win against the A's.The Orioles closer had ranked second on the all-time consecutive
BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton had been dominant for nearly two full years, but every streak eventually comes to an end. His American League-record saves streak of 60 was snapped on Wednesday in the Orioles' 8-7, 12-inning walk-off win against the A's.
The Orioles closer had ranked second on the all-time consecutive saves list, trailing only Eric Gagne, who had converted 84 for the Dodgers in 2002-04.
After Wednesday's game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that Britton will be getting an MRI on his left knee on the team's off day Thursday. Britton said he's been having issues with his knee for years and that it hasn't affected his pitching. The Orioles closer was scheduled to have a precautionary MRI before the end of the season despite his blown save Wednesday.
"Gosh, I probably had [the injury] since like 2014. I got my cleats stuck one time in Toronto on their turf, and it's something that was kind of bothering me," Britton said. "I think I pitched through it the last three or four years. ... I'll be going to Boston. It's not something that's going to prevent me from going with the team.
"Kind of where we are in the season -- let's get it looked at cause if something needs to happen, get it over with going into next year. I'm not sure if that's even the case. It's more precaution than anything. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to pitch through it if it was serious."
Britton entered the ninth with a 7-5 lead, but proceeded to give up a single to Jed Lowrie and a double to Boog Powell to put runners on second and third. Britton then gave up an RBI single to Marcus Semien before Matt Joyce brought home the tying run on a sacrifice fly to deep center.
"I don't know [what I think about the streak]. Maybe I'll think about it tomorrow," Britton said. But I was pretty disappointed. Just wasn't very good at all today."
The blown save was Britton's first since Sept. 20, 2015.
"It was unbelievable," third baseman Manny Machado said of Britton's streak. "Something I'm going to tell my kids I was a part of that, a part of his history. He's done a hell of a job the last two years since he's become the closer. That's why he's one of the best in the game. I'm lucky and blessed I get to watch him and play behind him when he goes out there and gets on that mound."
Britton then followed the game-tying run with a walk to Khris Davis that prompted Showalter to pull him with one out in the ninth.
"[The rarity of pulling Britton in the middle of an inning is] another reminder of how great he's been and will be again," Showalter said. "There's a part of me that's kind of glad he's got it behind him and we won the game. That's a heck of a thing to have to live up to every time you cock your arm. And he's special. Like I said, it's been an honor to watch him pitch. And I get to keep doing it."
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.