Britton overcomes nerves to impress in debut

Britton overcomes nerves to impress in debut
July 20, 2013, 9:15 pm
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BOSTON -- Drake Britton made his major league debut Saturday, and before he could face the New York Yankees, he first had to stare down some nerves.    

"A little bit,'' confessed Britton, when asked if he was battling some anxiety before coming into the game in the ninth inning. "I had some nerves down in the bullpen, a few butteflies. Once I got out there, I just started to breathe and that helped a little bit.''    

Britton, who was promoted last weekend on the final day of the All-Star break, entered the game in the ninth with two runners on and Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano due.    

He got Suzuki on a pop-up to shortstop for the second out.   

"I calmed down a lot and relaxed after that,'' said Britton. "I just wanted to go out and make quality pitches.''    

Cano managed to drive a ball to the outfield for a sacrifice fly that scored one of the inherited runners, but with Lyle Overbay due, batterymate Jarrod Saltalamacchia helped out by gunning down Brett Gardner attempting to take second.    

Britton is being evaluated to see if he can help the injury-depleted bullpen over the final 2 1/2 months, and off his first appearance, the Red Sox were impressed.    

"That wasn't the ideal situation to make your debut in,'' said John Farrell afterward. "But he threw strikes, showed a quick arm and kept his emotions under control and showed good stuff.''    

Britton became the sixth Red Sox pitcher to make his major league debut this season, following Alex Wilson, Allen Webster, Jose de la Torre, Steven Wright and Brandon Workman.