CLEVELAND -- Koji Uehara burned through his inning of work Friday night like a man who was late for dinner.
Against the Indians, the Japanese right-hander retired the side in the eighth inning on just five pitches. It was Uehara's second outing in eight days. He showed no signs of rust as he continued to ease into the 2011 season.
"I was doing my routine every day, and I just continued to do it consistently," he said. "That's all I did."
His quick work and continued recovery have him in position to get some more work Saturday. Uehara has dealt with elbow and hamstring injuries during his time with the Orioles, and he has pitched just four times this season.
Manager Buck Showalter said he wouldn't use Uehara, who is in the mix to be Baltimore's closer, on consecutive days until Uehara felt he was healthy enough. That day could be Saturday, Uehara said.
"Actually right now, I am ready to go back to back," Uehara said. "We were talking about when to start back to back, and we were targeting this time of year."
Showalter agreed, and said he would continue to monitor the situation. The goal, Showalter said, is keeping Uehara off the disabled list.
"It's kind of his call," Showalter said. "Remember, he had a short spring. We're trying to keep him around for the long haul. Last night, he needed to pitch. We'll see what develops tonight."
Wieters' day off simply a matter of timing
CLEVELAND -- Matt Wieters was out of the lineup Saturday, but Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said the benching was merely a timing issue.
"It's a day game after a night game, and with the matchup last night, Matt needed to catch," Showalter said. "We have a second catcher, and this is where he needs to catch."
Jake Fox was behind the plate for right-hander Jeremy Guthrie on Saturday. Fox is hitless in seven at-bats this season, although Wieters is batting .194 (7-for-36) early in the season.
Showalter said the lineup move had nothing to do with batting averages and struggles at the plate.
"It's in fairness to Matt as much as anything, to protect him," Showalter said.
Britton still unhappy with sixth inning homer
CLEVELAND -- A day later, Zach Britton's still pretty ticked off.
He understands that he won't win them all, and he knows he will have innings like the third on Friday, in which he gave up four runs.
But what really gets to him even after a night to sleep on it was what happened in the sixth.
"It may be dumb, but I think that pitch to [Travis] Hafner kind of broke the game open, took the wind out of our sails," he said. "I really do."
Britton got out of the third, and after the Orioles put up a run in the top of the fourth, closing the gap to 4-1, Hafner made Britton pay for making one bad pitch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Hafner's solo shot seemed to do minimal damage, but Britton said the game changed completely after that hit.
"I felt like that pitch there kind of did us in, so I am still angry about that pitch," Britton said. "After that bad inning, I need to give them some good innings. If I do that through the sixth inning, who knows what that does for the team?
"I feel like when you're down by three runs, it feels a lot closer than when you're down by four."
An inning later, in relief of Britton, Josh Rupe surrendered four runs, putting the game out of reach.
Britton suffered his first loss Friday, after giving up just one run in 13 2/3 innings over his first two starts. He will get the ball back Wednesday against the Twins.
Vladimir Guerrero's seven-game hitting streak ended Friday after the Orioles designated hitter went 0-for-4 against the Indians. ... With Cesar Izturis back out of the lineup Saturday, Baltimore had only one batter who was hitting better than .250 in the order, and that was Guerrero (.260). ... The Orioles' current five-game losing streak is the longest since Buck Showalter became manager on August 3, 2010. The Orioles still have the best record (40-29) in the American League since Showalter's hiring. ... Luke Scott drove in his first run of the season Friday against the Indians. ... After his 2-for-3 performance in the series opener, Derrek Lee has now reached base safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.