Young Zack Britton stepped on the little hill in the center of the diamond to face the best hitting and top run scoring team in the International League, the Columbus Clippers who even on bad nights have rung up opposing pitchers like telemarketers calling at dinner. Tonight the 22 year old lefty from Panorama City California disconnected those heavy hitting telemarketers for 7.1 innings allowing only 5 hits. He was assisted by Armando Gabino who pitched 1.2 innings allowing just a hit. It was a dominating performance by both Britton who is rumored to be on the fast track to the Major Leagues with a AAA record of 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and by Gabino who is certainly the most overlooked pitcher in the Orioles system. By the way Gabino is 5-0 with 2 saves and an ERA of 2.42 and for the year opponents are only hitting .216 against him.
Armando Gabino (5-0, S2, 2.42 ERA) has been the most overlooked pitcher in the Orioles system this year
From where I was I could see the scouts in attendance taking copious notes and paying a lot of attention to both Britton and Gabino. Britton also showed that he sees the entire picture when in the 7th inning following a Josh Rodriguez double created a fielder’s choice which got Rodriguez at 3rd base after a rundown. The other part of the play after getting the rundown in motion Britton was backing up third base at the end of the play. Rodriguez was the only Clippers hitter to reach second base and with his elimination the only Clippers threat ended. The Clippers scattered only 6 hits in the game and received only one walk.
The Tides scored early and while only producing 7 hits were very effective in run production. Robert Andino hit his 10th home run and second home run in two days in the bottom of the 1st inning. Michael Aubrey got his 8th home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Matt Angle reached on an infield single and advanced to 2nd base on a throwing error by Clippers 2nd Baseman Cord Phelps. He went to 3rd base on a Robert Andino single and scored on a sacrifice fly to the right field warning track by Jeff Salazar. The Tides added a 4th run courtesy of Michael Aubrey who hit his 9th home run and 3rd in the past two days in the bottom of the 4th.
Defensively the Tides played a very solid game committing no errors and turning 3 double plays.
Clippers starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (8-4 2.66 ERA) took the loss giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, three of which were home runs. Interestingly enough Tomlin has only given up 11 home runs while facing 368 batters in 101 innings. However he has faced Michael Aubrey 5 times this season and given up 3 hits all of the home runs. I think that Aubrey has Tomlin’s number. Zack Britton (1-1 1.50 ERA) got the win for the Tides dominating the very powerful Clippers offense. Armando Gabino (5-0 SV-2 2.42 ERA) picked up his 2nd save showing that he can effectively close games as well as start them or pitch solidly in the middle innings.
In all the Clippers had no runs on 6 hits with 1 error leaving four runners on base while the Tides had 4 runs on 7 hits with no errors stranding 3 runners. The teams close out this series Sunday at 6:15 with Zack Clark (0-4 5.06 ERA) starting for the Tides against the Clippers David Huff (3-0 4.15 ERA). The Tides can split their season series of 8 games with the Clippers with a win on Sunday.