Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 10:58 a.m.
Zach Britton set a Baltimore Orioles franchise rookie record for wins in April.
A matchup against the woeful Chicago White Sox may only help his growing confidence.
Britton will try to win his third straight start Sunday and send the light-hitting White Sox to their fifth consecutive loss.
Britton is probably sorry to see April end after going 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his first month as a major leaguer. The 23-year-old left-hander has quality starts in four of five outings and is leading the club in wins.
"He's handled it pretty well for a guy with limited experience," manager Buck Showalter said. "We like the things he's doing right now."
No rookie starter with the St. Louis Browns or Baltimore Orioles ever won more games in April than Britton, who went six innings against Boston on Tuesday, allowing one run and five hits in a 4-1 victory.
"I really don't get that nervous out there," Britton said. "I don't know what it is. It's not that I have a huge ego or anything. I have a lot of confidence that I can get out of the jams, and if I'm out there getting all worried I think the situations blow up. So I try to take my time and take a couple breaths and get after it."
Britton takes the mound after Chris Tillman became the latest pitcher to shut down the White Sox in Baltimore's 6-2 victory Saturday.
After scoring five runs in the seventh inning in Friday's 10-4 win, Baltimore (12-13) had another big inning Saturday, scoring four in the eighth en route to its fourth win in five games. The inning featured a passed ball and error on Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski and a two-run single by Vladimir Guerrero.
The White Sox (10-18) have lost 14 of 17, scoring three or fewer runs 14 times during that span. They also have dropped four in a row overall, six straight at home and finished April with a club-record 18 losses for the month.
"Right now we're not scoring a whole lot of runs, but I think that is going to turn around, I really do," said Saturday's starter Phil Humber. "I've got all the faith in the world in these guys. ... Hopefully it turns around for us pretty quick."
In a particularly frustrating series of at-bats Saturday, Chicago had no outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, but scored only one run on a sacrifice fly.
Alex Rios homered in the ninth - just his third hit in the last 37 at-bats.
Manager Ozzie Guillen will return to the dugout Sunday after completing a two-game suspension related to comments made on Twitter following his ejection in Wednesday's loss to the New York Yankees.
Despite his team's struggles in the opening month, Gavin Floyd (3-1, 3.60) looks to win his third straight start after setting a career high in April victories.
Floyd gave up two runs, four hits and struck out a season-high 10 in eight innings of a 3-2 win over the Yankees on Tuesday.
The right-hander will try to extend that success to May against a team he's pitched well against. Floyd is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA in five starts against the Orioles, including two wins last year. He allowed two runs over seven innings in each.
Baltimore shortstop Robert Andino is 7 for 14 with a home run in his last four games.
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