Showalter on Norris’ ejection and 4-1 loss

Most of the talk tonight following the Orioles’ 4-1 loss to the Tigers at Camden Yards centered on the heated exchange between pitcher Bud Norris and right fielder Torii Hunter.

You were expecting something else?

Hunter kept jawing at Norris after being hit in the eighth inning following Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer. Norris said it wasn’t intentional and plate umpire James Hoye ejected him only because of Hunter’s overreaction.

“Hit Torii with a pitch, the umpire deemed it intentional and threw him out of the game. Pretty simple,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It’s tough. Umpires have to judge intent. I certainly understand what it looked like.

“James is a good umpire. He’s trying to do what’s right. I understand what it looked like. He had a tough call there to make. There’s no instant replay to judge intent. Things happen in the heat of emotion and intensity and he’s got to make a decision.

“We just didn’t score any runs. One run on a ball that was close to being caught. Otherwise, they pitch a shutout. That’s what I’m going home with tonight.”

Asked whether Hunter overreacted, Showalter replied, “Have you ever been hit with a 94 mph fastball in? I understand the emotion. These are guys that care on both sides. You have to play the game with emotion. You have to care. I understand all sides of it. It happens. It happens with people competing on this level, because they care and play with emotion. Every day you have to funnel that into the game itself.”

Boston’s David Ross jawed at Norris on April 19 after a pitch came close to his head, yelling at the Orioles’ starter to “make an adjustment.” And Pittburgh’s Neil Walker took exception to being hit in Game 1 of a May 1 doubleheader.

The Orioles like Norris’ competitive nature, one of the reasons they traded for him last summer. It’s part of who he is on the mound.

“It’s part of just about everybody we’ve got,” Showalter said. “Some people, you’ve got to be careful about taking away something from somebody that makes them good.”

Showalter left Norris in the game after Kinsler’s home run because “I thought he deserved a chance to get through that inning the way he had pitched,” he said.

“It wasn’t like he was losing stuff. I was trying not to bring Darren (O’Day) in behind the game if I could help it.”

The Orioles will announce Wednesday’s starter by noon tomorrow, according to a team spokesman.

“I’m not quite there yet,” Showalter said. “I know where we’re probably headed. I better wait and make sure that something hasn’t changed since Dave (Wallace) and I last talked about it with Dan (Duquette). Cause if I did, it would change for sure.”

Stay tuned.

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