On the farm: Britton outduels Drabek

Double-A Bowie’s Zach Britton allowed just one run – a homer – off  five hits over six innings in Friday’s 5-1 win over New Hampshire. Britton outshined mound counterpart and highly touted right-hander Kyle Drabek, who currently leads the Eastern League with 48 strikeouts.
Britton improved to 3-3 on the year, lowering his ERA to 3.88 in the process.

One of the Orioles top pitching prospects, Britton has made improving his changeup a focal point of this season. The lefty has said previously that using the pitch with more frequency, and inducing a higher rate of ground balls  on his sinker are two components that will be key in having success at the higher levels.

“My changeup has come a long way,” Britton said in a press release. “Me and [pitching coach Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra], we try to break it down like with my slider, when I had it in Delmarva, it was one of those pitchers where I’d throw a good one and I couldn’t repeat throwing it for a strike.  Now, I can throw it for a strike pretty much when I want to.  So, the changeup’s starting to get to that place where I’m throwing it for strikes, but I’m not repeating it every time I throw it.”

“Once I mix in those three pitches, I think I’m gonna be fine.  The ERA is a little bit higher than where I want it to be, but I think I’m throwing the ball pretty well.”

The Baysox lit up Drabek for a season-high 10 hits, holding him to just three strikeouts, which was his lowest total since April 9.

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