Britton continues to be potent weapon out of 'pen

Britton continues to be potent weapon out of 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles lefty Zach Britton tossed a scoreless inning in Wednesday's win, lowering his ERA to a 0.89 in the process as he continues to be a valuable weapon for O's manager Buck Showalter.

Britton has also been an oft-used reliever, entering Thursday tied for the third-most relief innings in the American League (20 1/3), and he said that it's been an adjustment going from the rotation to the 'pen.

"The big thing is making sure the ball is still sinking and the velocity is still there," said Britton, who had just one back-to-back outing this spring. "So far, so good. I haven't gone back-to-back-to-back yet. I'm sure that will happen. I think we are managing it well."

Britton is one of four lefties in the Orioles bullpen, which is unusual for the Major Leagues.

Asked whether he'd prefer having four right-handers in his bullpen instead of four lefties, Showalter replied, "I'd prefer to have seven guys down there who can get people out. How it stacks up, I think sometimes we get too preoccupied with that.

"It depends on what the setup is. It's tough to use Darren [O'Day] and [Ryan] Webb in the same game if you can help it, but I'm going to do it to win a baseball game. ... If you feel like you've got a chance to win a baseball game, you go for it."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.