Updating Norris in Bradenton (Norris goes five innings)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Bud Norris has produced much better results tonight in his fourth start of the spring than in his previous outing in Tampa.

Norris has held the Pirates to one run and two hits over four innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He’s thrown 60 pitches, 37 for strikes.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-out, opposite field home run off Norris in the first. Norris proceeded to strike out three of the next four batters.

Jose Tabata led off the third inning with a double into the right field corner, but he took a wide turn at second base and was tagged out. Score it 9-4-6.

At this point, all the outs against Norris came on grounders, strikeouts and Tabata’s blunder.

Andrew Lambo flied to left field leading off the fourth. McCutchen walked with one out and stole second, the throw from catcher Caleb Joseph almost nailing Norris, but Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin struck out.

In his last outing, Norris ran up his pitch count early against the Yankees and allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits over 1 2/3 innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 60 pitches, the same total as tonight through the fourth.

Norris also committed a throwing error in that game, which permitted a run to score.

Alexi Casilla singled and stole a base leading off the first inning, his first hit in nine at-bats.

Jonathan Schoop singled in the second, making him 13-for-31 this spring. Steve Pearce had reached on an infield hit, but was erased on Delmon Young’s double play grounder.

Nice hustle by Nelson Cruz in the fourth inning. He turned a single into a double on a ball into right-center field, and raced to third on a throwing error. The ball didn’t roll far past the bag, but he jumped to his feet and took off.

Cruz is 8-for-25 this spring.

Update: Norris joined Chris Tillman as the only Orioles pitchers to work five innings this spring. He allowed one run and two hits, walked two and struck out five. I’ve got him at 72 pitches, 44 for strikes.

Steve Johnson is working the sixth. And I’m heading downstairs to interview Norris.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano shut out the Orioles on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He left the game with a 3-1 count on Adam Jones after being checked by the Pirates’ head trainer.

Liriano appeared to land awkwardly on a 2-1 pitch.

Jones walked and Cruz doubled to tie the game. Cruz is 9-for-26 with six doubles, two homers and seven RBIs this spring.

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