WASHINGTON -- Though the Nationals couldn't steal a win from Zach Britton and the Orioles on Wednesday night, they did steal the closer's Major League-record streak of consecutive scoreless appearances, ending the lefty's run at 43.
Britton finished off a 10-8 Baltimore victory at Nationals Park but allowed a run on two hits in the process. The closer entered with one out in the bottom of the ninth following a Daniel Murphy grand slam that cut the Orioles' lead to three runs. He allowed a single to Bryce Harper and an RBI double to Anthony Rendon, and just like that, the streak was over.
"It was a quick one -- I warmed up and went right into the game," Britton said. "Not ideal, but we had a cushion, so if there was any day to not be your best, it was today."
The run, the first Britton had allowed since April 30, raised the lefty's ERA to 0.69.
After Rendon's double, Britton got Wilson Ramos to ground back to the pitcher. Britton threw to second to try to catch Rendon diving back to the base, but the runner beat the tag, putting men on first and second. Undeterred, Britton got Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending double play.
Britton said he wasn't too disappointed in the streak ending, especially since the Orioles hung on to win the game.
"You can't get caught up in it, because tomorrow, you could be in the game again," Britton said. "Those things can get out of control easily when you start dwelling on them."
Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.