It’s Norris vs. Cain today

Bud Norris makes his third start for the Orioles this afternoon, and so far he’s been a big hit because he hasn’t allowed them.

See what I did there?

Norris has permitted three runs and nine hits in 12 innings, with four walks and 13 strikeouts. He’s won both starts.

Norris is 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four career starts against the Giants, including 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA in three career outings at AT&T Park.

Buster Posey is 4-for-7 with a double against Norris. Marco Scutaro is 4-for-8 with a home run.

Matt Cain has never faced the Orioles, but he’s faced a few of their hitters. Nate McLouth is 4-for-15 with two doubles. J.J. Hardy is 4-for-14 with a double and home run.

Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts will return to the lineup today. Nick Markakis will probably return to the third spot in the order, though he’s 8-for-13 lifetime as the No. 5 hitter.

OK, not a huge sample size, but worth exploring.

I read lots of Taylor Teagarden rippage on the blog and on Twitter yesterday while he was going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and five runners left on base, lowering his average to .125. Good luck finding a backup catcher who offers plus-defense and hits .300. Those guys are starters. They’re not backups.

Perhaps the Orioles will call up Steve Clevenger when rosters expand and evaluate him. They’re surely intrigued by Caleb Joseph, who in the past wasn’t deemed strong enough defensively. Chris Snyder remains in the organization.

Teagarden is a favorite of manager Buck Showalter. He’s actually got a stronger arm than Wieters, according to some teammates. The Orioles like how he calls a game and handles a pitching staff and yada, yada, yada.

He may not return as the backup in 2014. Who knows? But Teagarden is hardly the biggest issue facing this club. Not when Wieters is making the vast majority of the starts.

The Orioles are 19-21 in day games, though that includes a 14-9 mark on the road. They’re 11-31 when scoring fewer than four runs.

In alumni news, the Diamondbacks optioned reliever David Hernandez to Triple-A Reno last night. Hernandez, part of the Mark Reynolds trade, was 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA in 47 games after posting a 2.50 ERA in 72 appearances last season.

Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “O’s Xtra” beginning at 3:30 p.m. on MASN2.

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