Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton sets AL record 55 consecutive saves

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Zach Britton
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Zach Britton /

Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton sets new American League record as the Orioles take the series finale against the Houston Astros.

Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton made history on Sunday by setting a new AL record with his 55th consecutive save in the Orioles 9-7 win over the Houston Astros.

Britton’s AL record-breaking save passes former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon, who registered 54 straight saves from 1998-99. The Baltimore Orioles closer still has quite a ways to catch former Los Angeles Dodgers closer, Eric Gagne, who owns the MLB record 84 consecutive saves.

Sunday was Britton’s first save opportunity since April 14 against the Toronto Blue Jays after a strained forearm caused him to miss nearly miss two months. The Orioles cautiously worked Britton back into the closer role after nine non-save appearances where he posted a 4.00 ERA, along with four earned runs allowed.

Orioles vs. Astros series finale

The Baltimore Orioles rallied in the eighth inning against the Astros Sunday afternoon to avoid a three-game sweep at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, Orioles right-handed starting pitcher Dylan Bundy ran into trouble in the top of the third inning when Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve smashed a three-run home to tie the game 3-3. The Orioles used the third and fifth inning to regain the lead 6-3, powered by rookie Trey Mancini who collected a RBI in those two innings.

However, Bundy unraveled in the sixth inning to give up the Orioles lead once again after Norichika Aoki drove a three-run home run over the right field wall for just his second home run of the season. Later in the inning, Josh Reddick drove in the Astros seventh run of the game to take a 7-6 lead.

Mark Trumbo answered in the seventh inning by smashing home run No. 17 to tie the game 7-7. Best friends Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop paired in the eighth inning to give the Orioles their fifth win in seven games and finish the homestand 5-2.

Next: Duquette says Orioles not selling at trade deadline

Next, the Orioles head south for a six-game road trip, first against the slumping Tampa Bay Rays for three games before traveling to Arlington, Tx. to play the Texas Rangers. Despite losing two of three to the Astros, the Orioles remain 3.5 games back from the final AL Wild Card spot.