Britton says ninth just like any other inning

Britton says ninth just like any other inning
May 21, 2014, 8:30 pm
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(John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports)

PITTSBURGH – It wasn’t a total shock when Zach Britton was called on to save last Thursday’s game in Kansas City.

“I was definitely excited, a little bit surprised when he said my name, but I was prepared,” Britton said.

Tommy Hunter had been struggling, and when Darren O’Day was called into the game, he knew.

Britton is less than two months into his relief career, and to him, it wasn’t a big deal to pitch the ninth.

“Maybe to somebody who’s been relieving their whole career, but to me it was just another relief appearance, three outs. Just try and do the same thing, not try and do too much,” Britton said.

“I know they’re the last three outs…Focus on what I’ve been doing in the pen in the seventh and eighth inning.”

Because Britton, Hunter and O’Day all needed work, manager Buck Showalter used them in Tuesday’s game. Britton started the eighth and pitched into the ninth. O’Day got the final two outs.

Britton says he can get more than three outs if Showalter wants him to.

“He made mention to me, being able to go two innings late in the game. I haven’t done it in a while,” Britton said. “It’s up to Buck. He makes those decisions. I’m prepared for it.”