O’s Claw Their Way to 4-1 Win

W – Zach Britton (4-1)     L – Clay Buchholz (1-3)     SV – Kevin Gregg (3)

– Britton makes it hard to believe hes a rookie out there. He stymied the red hot Red Sox for 6 innings, only allowing a run on 5 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out two batters but first and foremost hes a ground ball pitcher, which he showed with his 11-4 go/ao ratio in the game. He cruised through the first three innings but had to work through jams in the last three. A single, fielder’s choice, stolen base, and a sacrifice fly gave Boston their first run in the 4th. In the 5th Britton walked Dustin Pedroia to load the bases with two out but got Adrian Gonzalez to ground out and end the inning. And in the 6th he got Carl Crawford to fly out with two runners on base. It was impressive, and I’ve been saying that alot about this guy.
– Jim Johnson continued to look great as well. He through two scoreless innings, striking out four, to set up closer Kevin Gregg. In what may be the biggest surprise of the season, Gregg didn’t give fans anxiety. He got the Red Sox in order, striking out a batter in the process.
– For the offense it was all about singles and sacrifice flies. In the 2nd inning we actually had some luck go our way. Luke Scott led off with a single and Mark Reynolds moved him to third with a double that hit the outfield wall in about three seconds. Matt Wieters then hit a routine grounder to first base, except that it hit the base right before Gonzalez could grab it and bounced away for an RBI single.
– The rest of our runs came on sac flies. Adam Jones had a pair and Reynolds had one. Jones was also intentionally walked, probably to prevent him from hitting another sacrifice fly. Of the O’s 12 hits, 10 were singles. The other extra base hit was Scott’s double. He also walked.
– Vladimir Guerrero had three singles, although he was hitting the ball very hard last night. Maybe hes about to come alive. Derrek Lee had two, as did Wieters. Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis each had one, Roberts extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Robert Andino walked.

Player of the game: Zach Britton – 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K, W (4-1) (2.84 ERA)

The O’s have a tough test tonight with Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.93) on the mound for Boston. Hes pitching like its 2007 again. We’ll counter with our opening day starter, Jeremy Guthrie (1-3, 3.12).

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