BALTIMORE — Zach Britton made his way into the Orioles clubhouse on crutches, and wearing a soft boot. He sprained his left ankle in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game.
Britton fielded Adam Eaton’s bunt and threw to first baseman Chris Davis.
“After I flipped the ball to Chris, I just kind of felt something,” Britton said. “I didn’t know if I stepped wrong. I didn’t know if I stepped wrong. It didn’t feel like I rolled it or anything, my ankle, but just didn’t feel very good and [trainer Richie Bancells] didn’t think there was any reason to push it last night. Especially with the way the weather was, the field conditions, everything. It was just best to shut it down right there.”
Eaton scored what turned out to the winning run.
Britton is hoping he can avoid a visit to the disabled list.
“I think I’d be surprised if I had to go on the DL, but we’ll see how it feels. It feels pretty good compared to yesterday, but still some tenderness in there and obviously I’m not walking great, so I think you’ve got to walk fine before I can even start pitching again,” Britton said.
“Hopefully, it’s just a few days and maybe I can throw a bullpen or at least run on it.”
Britton had an X-Ray, and there are no plans for an MRI. He admitted to sleeping poorly, but that was because of anxiousness, not pain.
“I’ve never done anything to my ankles, so I didn’t really know what I was feeling. Didn’t feel very good. Just kind of felt like I had jammed it, I guess. The best way to describe it. But Richie kind of took charge and said, ‘That’s it,’” Britton said.
As a left-hander, the ankle he injured is the one he pushes off.
“It’s going to be a big test, a huge test. I think it would be worse if it was actually my land leg. Yeah, it’s going to a nice test in a few days if I can push off. Once I can do that, I think I’ll be fine. It’s just a matter of, if I’ve got to tape it, wear a brace or something to help me through it. Just kind of nip it in the bud right now. We have the off day tomorrow, which I guess is good timing. You never want to say good timing on an injury, but I guess having the off day would be nice. Hopefully, I can get back in the next few days.”
It was the second time in as many nights that Britton could have injured himself. He dove to try and tag Chicago’s Avisail Garcia in Friday night’s game.
“I was telling Buck [Showalter] I was trying to win the Gold Glove. I think I’m going to shut that down for now on,” Britton said.
The Orioles lost a bizarre game when the normally reliable bullpen allowed five runs.
“It was a tough night, I think. Us down there in the bullpen, especially. We pride ourselves doing a good job after the starter, give him those wins, especially those games that we should win. We didn’t do a very good job last night, but we’ll bounce back, and the guys will do a good job today if they get into the game,” Britton said.