It was bound to happen. May as well get it out of the way now.
Both runs came on homers by Brett Wallace and Marc Krauss.
Norris was removed after 104 pitches, including 65 for strikes. He had thrown 120 and 119 in his last two starts and was working on seven days rest, but manager Buck Showalter turned the game over to Tommy Hunter.
Norris posted his 14th quality start in 22 starts this season.
Left-handed batters had posted a .306 average against Norris this season. Wallace and Krauss bat from the left side. So does Jason Castro, who singled in the first inning.
Henry Urrutia is 2-for-3 tonight with singles into left and center field. He’s 11-for-32 since having his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk.
Urrutia kept a rally alive in the sixth with his second single, and Brian Roberts singled to left field to score J.J. Hardy and increase the lead to 4-2.
Left-hander Travis Blackley replaced starter Jordan Lyles, and Nate McLouth singled on the first pitch to increase the lead to 5-2.
Hardy started the rally with a two-out single. So, by my count, that’s four consecutive two-out singles to produce two runs.
McLouth has his first two-RBI game since May 4 vs. the Angels.
Only one Oriole had faced Lyles before tonight. Taylor Teagarden, who’s on the bench, was 2-for-3. And none of the Astros had faced Norris.
Pretty rare occurrence, right?
Update: Remember Chris Davis’ home run drought?
Neither do I.
Davis crushed an 81 mph changeup from Blackley in the seventh inning, sending the ball deep into the right field seats for his 39th homer and 100th RBI.
Davis has recorded the 39th 100-RBI season in Orioles history. He’s the first player to reach the century mark since Nick Markakis had 101 in 2009.
Brian Matusz is warming in the Orioles’ bullpen in the eighth inning while Hunter tries to protect a 6-2 lead.
Update II: LJ Hoes has his first major league hit and his first RBI.
Hoes grounded out to score Robbie Grossman, who led off the eighth with a double. Of course he did. Grossman has been a pest this entire series.
Brian Matusz replaced Hunter with the Orioles leading 6-3 and Nick Markakis made a diving catch in right field to rob Jason Castro and end the inning.
Jim Johnson is warming in the bullpen.
Update III: Johnson got his 37th save and the Orioles took the series with a 6-3 victory at Camden Yards.
Johnson walked a batter and hit one - his seventh this season - but he escaped the jam.
Chris Davis didn’t strike out tonight, ending his streak at 24 games.
Norris beats his former team. I thought it only happened in the movies.
Speaking of movies, Ralph Macchio was here tonight, continuing his ballpark tour. The Karate Kid sneaked into town, I guess.
If you’re on Twitter, check him out at @ralphmacchio.
And yes, someone in the press box already yelled, “Sweep the leg!” Since the Orioles couldn’t sweep the Astros.