Norris on Norris (O’s lose 4-1)


Score: Twins 4, Orioles 1

Recap: The Twins scored twice off Bud Norris after Alexi Casilla’s error to open the bottom of the second. They added another run in the fifth. Norris was solid, with four of the seven hits against him in 5 1/3 innings being bloopers or the infield variety. Zach Britton retired both batters he faced after replacing Norris in the sixth, lowering his ERA to 0.87 in 10 1/3 Grapefruit League innings. Tommy Hunter allowed a run in the seventh on Chris Colabello’s RBI double. Steve Clevenger had three more hits.

Need to know: How strong was the wind today? Joe Mauer lifted a fly ball to left field in the third that appeared to go foul. The plate umpire handed a new ball to Clevenger and Norris prepared to receive it. However, Mauer’s ball blew back into fair territory and dropped down the line for a single - to the surprise of everyone, including Delmon Young, who didn’t think he’d need to keep pursuing it.

On deck: Wednesday split-squad, at Red Sox in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m., at Rays in Port Charlotte at 7:05 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Zach Britton retired both Twins he faced in the sixth, striking out one. He’s surrendered two runs in 10 1/3 Grapefruit League innings.

Tommy Hunter allowed a run in the seventh on Chris Colabello’s RBI double.

Bud Norris doesn’t know when he’s going to pitch again. He’s done this spring and will take the mound at Comerica Park in Detroit for the fourth or fifth game.

Norris allowed two earned runs (three total) and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Orioles today.

“Felt really strong,” Norris said. “A little windy, so you really have to control your body out there. I felt I did a really good job of pounding the strike zone. Steve (Clevenger) called a great game. We’re on the same page.

“Like I said, I’m healthy and I felt good and all of my pitches were working, so I’m happy.”

Norris threw 78 pitches against the Twins, 52 for strikes.

“It’s not necessarily a number. I think it’s more an up and down thing,” he said. “Sitting on the bench and having longer half innings or shorter half innings, it’s more getting back out there and throwing the right amount of pitches. The arm felt great, and it’s more of your body getting up and down.”

Norris is glad to be getting out of Florida and preparing to pitch in real games.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I think we all are. We’ve been champing at the bit. We’ve been working hard. Like I said, for us to get out of here healthy is the No. 1 priority. I’m excited to get this going.”

Norris has allowed seven runs (five earned) and 16 hits in 17 innings, with six walks and 15 strikeouts. Three of those runs (two earned) came in 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees on March 13.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “Like I said, you’ve got to take it one day at a time. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You can’t get too far behind yourself. You’ve got to take these six, seven weeks and take it one day at a time and get stronger.

“I think from a throwing program standpoint, from a body standpoint, I’ve gotten a lot stronger. And mentally stronger, too. I’m healthy, and that’s the No. 1 priority. And would love to make 30, 35 starts.”

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