Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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Norris leads Orioles to shutout win over Red Sox

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[June 10, 2014]  BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles hit three home runs in Monday's series opener with the Boston Red Sox, and that proved to be more than enough for starter Bud Norris in his best start this season.

Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty each homered, and Norris threw eight shutout innings as the Orioles scored a 4-0 victory over the Red Sox Monday night at Camden Yards.

Norris (5-5) completely shut down the Red Sox (28-35), scattering three hits in his eight-inning stint. He retired 13 in a row at one point and found success with all three of his pitches, especially a change-up that constantly befuddled Boston.

"Bud was really good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We talk a lot about the change-up in the spring. That third pitch kind of put his game at a different level. Really (good) command of the fastball. Got some early outs, didn't get in a lot of deep counts. I thought (he) was fun to watch."

Norris needed only 98 pitches on this night, but he agreed afterward that his success with that change-up made a big difference.

"It was extremely important," Norris said. "I know I need it. Some days it's there, some days it's not, but to go out there and really commit to it and throw it was a good sign."

Norris also struck out six and walked just three. The Red Sox never got a runner into scoring position until the fifth inning and none reached third base.

Right-hander Tommy Hunter finished the game in the ninth, his first appearance since coming off the disabled list (groin) on Sunday. Showalter thought about letting Norris try to close it out, but a blister was bugging the right-hander, so the skipper called on Hunter.

Jones, who was Baltimore's designated hitter in the game, gave the Orioles (32-30) the lead for good with his first-inning solo shot. He also singled in the fourth and fifth innings and finished 3-for-4.

Right fielder Markakis ended up 2-for-4, with his big hit being the two-run homer in the fifth that gave the Orioles (32-30) a three-run lead against Boston starter Jake Peavy (1-4).

"It was just a curveball/slider, started in the middle and it came down and in, and if you want to throw a slider, down and in to a lefty's not a good pitch," Markakis said. "It was up enough for me to put a good swing on it and helped us win the game."

Second baseman Flaherty added a solo shot off Peavy in the seventh to make it 4-0.

Peavy gave up four runs on eight hits in his seven innings and pitched well enough, striking out seven with just one walk. The veteran right-hander just could not match Norris on this night.

"Take a few pitches back and it's a different game," Peavy said. "I don't care about my personal win-loss record. I don't care about any personal numbers at this point. I'm pitching to win. I was pitching to win tonight. But we were grinding. That's a really good lineup."

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The Orioles took a quick 1-0 lead when Jones belted a solo homer to center off Peavy in the first inning. Markakis extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a leadoff single earlier in the inning, but he was erased when third baseman Manny Machado grounded into a double play.

Boston left fielder Brock Holt singled to start the game, but Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph threw him out on a steal attempt, and Norris retired the next 13 Boston hitters.

The Red Sox didn't get another base runner until right fielder Daniel Nava doubled with two outs in the fifth. Norris then got center fielder Grady Sizemore to ground back to him, ending the inning.

The Orioles stretched the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Markakis lined a two-run homer to right. Flaherty, who had singled, also scored on the blast.

NOTES: The Orioles were still waiting for word from MLB if 3B Manny Machado would be suspended for Sunday's incident with the A's. Machado swung and appeared to fling his bat after the second of two close pitches from Oakland LHP Fernando Abad. Machado apologized on MASN television Monday. ... Baltimore recalled RHP Josh Stinson from Triple-A Norfolk and demoted RHP Brad Brach to the same club. ... Red Sox manager John Farrell said he wanted to give OF Jackie Bradley, Jr. a breather, so he held him out of the starting lineup. ... Boston SS Stephen Drew has some soreness and tightness in the right oblique, prompting Farrell to leave him out of the starting lineup. Neither player got into the game.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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