Norris (10-10) gave the Orioles exactly what they needed on the mound after a short start from Wei-Yin Chen on Sunday. Bud pitched effectively and even racked up some strikeouts in the process. He kept himself out of trouble most of the day and was doing so by getting ahead of hitters and making them hit his pitch. It was not only his longest outing since joining Baltimore, but it was easily the best his command has been in a start as well. Norris consistently hit the target that Matt Wieters was sitting behind the plate and moving the ball all around the strikezone.
When it was all said and done, Norris went seven innings while allowing just one run on four hits, one walk and eight strikeouts, and did so by throwing just 92 pitches, 63 of which were for strikes. Norris improved to 4-1 since joining the Orioles and his tenth win of the season is a career high for him.
Tommy Hunter allowed one run in the eighth on a solo homer, while Brian Matusz tossed a scoreless ninth for the Birds.
The Baltimore offense had scored 13 total runs in the first five games of their nine game road trip, but after yesterday the offense had scored 14 runs in their last two games thanks to back-to-back seven run outbursts. Although the Orioles did all of their damage Sunday in one inning, the Birds decided to spread it around on Monday as they scored three in the second, two in the fourth, and two in the ninth.
Nate McLouth got the scoring started for the Birds with a RBI fielder’s choice that nearly hit the centerfield wall. Now you may be asking yourself, well then how in the heck was it a fielder’s choice? The answer to that was Nick Markakis was called out for missing second base, which leads to the official ruling of a fielder’s choice as opposed to the double he would have gotten. Nevertheless it gave the Orioles 1-0 lead that would quickly be increased to three when Brian Roberts came through with a clutch two out, two run double to cap off a three run second inning for the Birds.
McLouth was not done however, as he came up in the fourth with one runner on and delivered a two run shot for his 10thhomer of the season and a 5-0 lead for Baltimore.
Wieters would add a two run home run of his own in the ninth inning for some insurance runs after the Indians pulled within three in the bottom of the eighth.
Wieters led the way offensively going 4-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored, while McLouth had the other multi hit game for the Birds going 2-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
The Orioles win, combined with a Tampa Bay Rays loss leaves the Birds just two games out of the second wildcard spot. September baseball is here folks, so stock up on your favorite beverages and some tums because it is going to be a wild ride to the postseason.
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