Could Britton's 5-out save be sign of things to come?

Closer the Orioles' lone lefty reliever other than Matusz, who's struggling

May 19th, 2016

BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton collected five big outs -- the All-Star closer's longest save situation this season -- in the Orioles' 5-2 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night.

Britton, who notched his 11th save of the season, had the previous four days off, and manager Buck Showalter said he knew going into the game that the lefty would be available to go a little longer.

But with Brian Matusz, the Orioles' only other lefty reliever, struggling, could Britton get more longer looks in the future?

"[It changes Britton's role] a little bit," Showalter acknowledged after the game. "Brad [Brach] is like having a left-handed pitcher. He can defend himself real well against left-handers, so we feel confident there. And so can Darren [O'Day]. But until Brian gets it going ... I don't think it would have changed tonight. But it does affect some games at times. Because the high-leverage, high-pressure [situations], you are trying to let Brian work his way back into that role if you can. But sometimes the game doesn't let you."

Britton entered in quite the high-pressure spot on Wednesday, taking over for Brach with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth. But he responded, getting Dae-Ho Lee to strike out and Chris Iannetta to ground out to record his first five-out save since Aug. 10, 2015.

"I think an inning and two thirds was like my forte as a starter, so yeah, it was a lot like it," Britton joked after recording his 84th career save, which puts him fifth on the Orioles' all-time save list.

"Yeah, I like it to kind of be an option, definitely. Sometimes, I like going back out there, sitting down [in the dugout]. I don't get to do that very often. Good to sit down and get back out there, too. And be able to pick up Brad was the most important thing, and then, obviously, getting the win."