Britton called up to work out of bullpen

Britton called up to work out of bullpen

OAKLAND -- Zach Britton had a little time to get to Oakland from Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. He was told he was heading back to Baltimore following Norfolk's loss, a game in which Steve Johnson made his first rehab start.

The left-handed pitcher got into the Bay Area around midnight and had plenty of time to get ready for Thursday's game against the Athletics.

"It's great to be able to come in and get reunited with these guys," Britton said. "My last two outings have been pretty good. I got a lot of ground balls, which was something I was struggling with in Spring Training."

Britton is a starter, but will be used out of the bullpen for the time being. He joins one of the top bullpens in the Major Leagues. Brian Matusz, T.J. McFarland, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Troy Patton and Darren O'Day have a combined ERA of 1.49 (10 earned runs in 60 1/3 innings).

"It all comes down to relationships," Britton said. "We're all there for each other because we have the same goal in mind. We support each other."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Britton would be considered as a starter for Monday, the next time Baltimore needs a fifth starter.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.