Bud Norris got what he wanted tonight - the chance to compete in a pennant race - and he got the win for his new team against his former one as the O's beat Houston.
"Been working a long time in my career to be in a pennant race," he said. "To be thrown into the fire and to go out there and control my emotions was pretty special. Very happy with the win.
"A tough group over there. They knew me pretty well but I worked well with Matt (Wieters), guys made some plays behind me and that was a big win for us."
Norris went six innings, allowing four hits and two runs and his ERA in his home games since the start of last season is 2.37.
Did he have a moment where he was thinking how strange it was to face his former team?
"Somewhere in the third or the fourth I glanced over to their dugout and I said, 'Let's not do that again,'" Norris said. "So I just stayed on the glove and wanted to pound the strike zone. I felt good out there, just needed to control my emotions."
And also pitch on seven days rest in his O's debut.
"That was tricky part," he said. "Usually on a five-day you feel good and your body is right where it needs to be. At points today my body was achy which was kind of funky. Once the first pitch is thrown, don't worry about anything else but throwing strikes."
Chris Davis thought Norris handled himself well in his first O's outing.
"It's pretty impressive that he pitched the day after he was traded against his former team," Davis said. "They obviously knew plenty about him and to go out and compete the way he did was huge."
Davis' homer in the seventh was his 39th and RBI 100 as he produces the 39th 100-RBI season in O's history with plenty of games to add to the total.
"A lot of it has to do with the fact guys have been getting on base all year. Makes my job easier as a run producer. It's really a tribute to the guys that hit in front of me.
"I think I was a lot more patient tonight. I didn't take a lot of pitches but I felt my approach was a little bit more solid and I was more quiet at the plate.
"I think we have too much at stake to start looking at your numbers. Proud of the way I've competed but there is plenty of baseball left," he said.
As Davis was conducting his postgame interview, Boston won its game in the bottom of the ninth against Seattle.
"It's time to buckle up again, as they say. We understand this late in the season nobody is going to hand us anything. We don't want that anyway and we have our work cut out for us."
When Norris finished his interview he still had some shaving cream to clean off his face as he got the postgame pie treatment tonight.
"That was the first one of my career," he said. "I had a feeling it might come. Pretty excited to take it. It was exhilarating."