“They’re both really good hitters,” Showalter said afterward of his decision. “You’re really just picking your poison there.’’
He was also counting on Britton, who was the best closer in baseball last season with 47 saves and a 0.54 E.R.A., to make him look smart.
Britton missed two months this season with a forearm problem and his numbers have been nowhere near as intimidating as they were in 2016. But he is still a premier pitcher. And in this instance, he got the better of Sanchez, buzzing a pitch past him to end the game and give the Orioles a 6-4 victory after the Yankees had stampeded them in the first three games of the series.
The result kept the Yankees from gaining ground on the Boston Red Sox, who lost, 3-2, at the Tampa Bay Rays but retained their three-game lead atop the American League East.
The game’s ending also allowed Showalter to breathe easier — “It came up…