Baltimore native Steve Clevenger has played at Camden Yards before, just not as a Baltimore Oriole. Tonight he will, making his home debut, batting seventh and catching.
Clevenger, a graduate of Baltimore’s Mount St. Joseph’s high school, played at Camden Yards in 2004 in the Brooks Robinson high school All-Star game.
“First time I will play in Camden Yards besides in high school. It will be fun and exciting,” Clevenger said.
He is 2-for-7 with a double and two RBIs in two starts for the Orioles and every chance he gets to play now could help his cause to make the opening day roster as Matt Wieters’ backup next season.
“When you go out, you want to play competitive and things this time of year mean something going into spring training. I want to show what I can do,” he said.
“I want to make this team out of spring next year, whatever role that is. Just being part of the 25-man roster will be a goal going into spring.”
Meanwhile, Bud Norris makes another start for the Orioles tonight. It is his first since Sept. 8 against the Chicago White Sox. He went 12 days between outings, until he pitched Friday in relief, because he was dealing with right elbow inflammation.
Norris is 4-3 with a 4.63 ERA over 10 games and eight starts for the Orioles. He took the loss in Friday’s 18-inning game against Tampa Bay.
Norris has struggled this year against left-handed batters with a .307 opponents’ average and OPS of .874, including his starts with Houston. He has given up 17 homers this season, 16 to lefty batters. As an Oriole, lefties are hitting .310 with a .909 OPS against him.
Norris has never faced Toronto and the Blue Jays are one of three teams, including the Yankees and Twins, he’s never pitched against.
The Blue Jays start 28-year-old right-hander Esmil Rogers, who is 5-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 43 games and 19 starts.
He gave up three runs to the Orioles over six innings two starts ago and is 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA in four starts this month.
Can the O’s get to him in the first inning? His ERA is 7.58 and average against is .342 in the opening inning of his starts this season.