The Orioles lost 8-7 Saturday night in a seesaw affair with the Chicago White Sox.
But that’s incidental given what happened with two outs in the ninth inning when closer Zach Britton ran to first base on a slow roller to the right side.
He tried to grab the baseball and flip it to first with his glove. In the attempt, he stepped awkwardly and came up lame, limping on his left leg.
Britton went back to the mound, grimaced and hobbled around before he walked off the field with athletic trainer Richie Bancells.
Speculation quickly spread on exactly what the injury was – at least until manager Buck Showalter answered the first question of the post-game press conference. He called it a jammed left ankle; the Orioles official Twitter feed called it a “left ankle sprain.”
Britton was receiving treatment on the ankle and, therefore, was not made available to the media on Saturday night.
“Left ankle, but I don’t know. We’ll see how it is (Sunday),” Showalter said. “Richie and them were looking at the replay and talking. He jammed it more than rolled it. I’m sure you all saw the replay, too. The proverbial day to day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Zach’s always been a pretty quick healer, so we’ll see.”
So it doesn’t sound too serious – but, really, you never know. How it is classified shortly after the incident, and what the diagnosis is the next day, often aren’t the same.
Britton is a tough guy. He hasn’t been on the major league disabled list since the start of the 2012 season when he was shelved with a shoulder impingement.
The best guess is that he’ll be out Sunday – which would give him until Tuesday without having to pitch. Showalter is very careful with his players, especially his relievers, and so expect him to err on the side of caution.