Britton sharp again as Orioles top Yankees, 6-2

Left-hander allows just one run in five innings

hitters put on power display

March 22, 2011|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Orioles got another impressive pitching performance from prospect Zach Britton and homers from Jake Fox, Luke Scott and J.J. Hardy in a 6-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday in front of an announced 8,347 at sun-splashed Ed Smith Stadium.

With the victory, the Orioles improved to 11-11-2 this spring.

Fox led off the Orioles' four-run third inning with a solo shot off Sergio Mitre, his team-leading eighth homer of the spring. Scott's two-run blast came later in the inning and was his first homer of the spring.

Hardy's solo shot in the fourth was off Joba Chamberlain and was his second this spring. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero added an RBI groundout, and Mitre balked in a run.

Playing in his second consecutive Grapefruit League game after missing nearly two weeks with back and neck discomfort, Brian Roberts went 2-for-4 with a double. Derrek Lee subbed for Guerrero in the DH spot after two at-bats and went 0-for-2. It was Lee's second game this spring.

Still, much of the talk was about the performance of Britton, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk over five innings. Britton also hit a batter and struck out five.

The organization's top pitching prospect, Britton entered the game having not allowed a run in nine Grapefruit League innings this spring. He extended it to 11 innings before Mark Teixeira's RBI fielder's choice groundout in the third inning.

Hitting 96 mph on the stadium radar gun, Britton got out of a jam with men on second and third and one out in the fifth by striking out Teixeira looking and retiring Andruw Jones on a groundout. He was removed from the game after issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth.

"I think that was big," Britton said of his escape in the fifth. "I wasn't paying attention to who it was, I was just concerned about making pitches, and it just happened to be Teixeira. I thought we had a good sink. [Catcher Matt Wieters] did a good job of mixing it up that last at-bat."

Reliever Jason Berken pitched two scoreless innings for the Orioles, allowing just a walk. Michael Gonzalez surrendered a run in one inning of work.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jeffzrebiecsun

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