Baltimore Orioles win game and series’ in Bud Norris’ return


It’s always tough to know what to expect from a pitcher making his first start after a DL stint. Some guys are apt to struggle. Not Bud Norris this afternoon. Norris’ line: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Not a perfect start for the Baltimore Orioles by any means, however it was probably Norris’ best outing of the season. And it came in a 7-3 victory over Cleveland.

This was a big game for the Birds, as it was the final game in what’s been a tough

Courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

road trip, although the good news is that the latter part of the trip took a turn for the better. After the Orioles dropped the first three games in Houston (preceded of course by two straight losses at home to Tampa), they won three of the final four games – one in Houston and two in Cleveland.

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Phillies release 10-year veteran right-hander Bud Norris
Phillies release 10-year veteran right-hander Bud Norris /

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  • Adam Jones got the table set the right way early in the game with a two-out solo home run which gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. One of the key unsung moments in the game was in the fourth inning after the Orioles got two runners on with two outs. Ryan Flaherty had an epic at-bat in which he fouled off pitch after pitch on Cleveland starter Carlos Carasco. Flaherty ended up walking, which loaded the bases for the Orioles.

    At-bats as such can throw pitchers off their game, which seemed to be exactly what happened. That turned the order over, and on the first pitch Manny Machado hit an infield RBI-single. Shortstop Lonnie Chisenhall attempted to field the ball with his bare hand, but he bobbled it. The play was ruled a base hit, as Machado was going to be safe either way.

    Flaherty would come up big a few moments later for the Orioles as well. Travis Snider single to center (with the bases still juiced); one run was sure to score, but Flaherty drew a throw at the plate. He slid in safely around the tag, and the Birds took a 4-0 lead. Ryan Flaherty is a guy that gets a lot of flack at times from fans, and in some cases justifiably so. However he showed his net worth in today’s game during that sequence.

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    Cleveland would get on the board in the last of the fourth on Brandon Moss‘ RBI-double, however Norris would buckle down to strike out two hitters and induce a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Chris Davis would add a sac fly-RBI in the fifth, and Jimmy Paredes an RBI-single in the seventh. Rayburn would come up again in the last of the seventh with the bases loaded, and hit a sharp grounder to Davis at first. He would knock it down and get the out at first base which allowed another run, however probably saved one as well.

    For good measure, Matt Wieters hit his first homer of 2015 in the top of the ninth, which ran the score to 7-2. We have to keep in mind that we have a very small sample size on Wieters this year. However the good news for the O’s is that he’s started the season on a hot streak. The O’s would allow one final run in the last of the ninth on a Ryan Rayburn (who else?!) RBI-single. But it was too little too late for Cleveland. 

    Speaking of Wieters and his homer, the Orioles also put forth an insurance run late (in the form of the homer), which is something we haven’t necessarily seen out of them thus far this year. All good signs from the Orioles’ perspective.

    The O’s will clear out of the visitors’ clubhouse and head home now, after taking two-of-three from the Tribe in Cleveland. They’ll have a full day off tomorow at home, before Boston comes to town on Tuesday night. It’ll be the Orioles’ first day off since May 18th due to the doubleheader with the ChiSox.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: Is opposing pitching really that good?

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