Norris faces Masterson in series opener and other notes

The Orioles begin a three-game series in Cleveland today with Bud Norris (3-1, 4.91 ERA) facing Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.49 ERA).

Norris is looking for a career-high 10th win counting his wins earlier with Houston. The Orioles are 5-1 in his six starts this season.

Some other O’s and Tribe notes:

* The Orioles have gotten just three quality starts over their last nine games with an ERA of 5.73 for their starting pitchers in that stretch.

* Cleveland ended a five-game losing streak with Sunday’s win at Detroit, which completed the Tribe’s 1-5 road trip which started in Atlanta.

* Danny Valencia has recorded six straight multi-hit games dating back to August 4, batting .591 (14-for-22) with four doubles, two homers, four runs scored and five RBIs. The last Oriole to have six straight multi-hit games was J.J. Hardy from June 19-26, 2011. The last Oriole to post seven straight multi-hit games was Vladimir Guerrero from May 14-21, 2011.

* Chris Davis (17) and Adam Jones (15) rank first and second in the AL, respectively, in home runs during day games in 2013. The Orioles have won the last eight games in which Jones homered.

* Cleveland, which won just 68 games last season, is 72-64, including a 40-26 mark at home.

* Davis has gone a whole four games without a homer, sitting on 47, three shy of Brady Anderson’s club record. Davis has hit seven homers over his last 22 games, 10 in the last 29 and 25 over his past 66 games.

* The Indians have struggled recently on offense. They scored just 10 runs during the five-game losing streak until getting four yesterday. They had a team average of just .229 and scored 3.3 runs per game as they went 12-16 in August.

In the minors this afternoon, Durham beat Norfolk 1-0 in 10 innings and that likely means the Triple-A Tides will not make the playoffs. They need Rochester to lose now to get in and the Red Wings were leading 12-3 in the seventh at last check.

In his Triple-A debut, Mike Wright pitched 6 2/3 scoreless for the Tides allowing six hits with no walks and two strikeouts on 96 pitches.

Single-A Frederick’s Michael Ohlman did not start the Keys season finale this afternoon. If he doesn’t get an at-bat, he will finish as the Carolina League batting leader at .313. The last Key to lead the league in hitting was Robbie Widlansky in 2009.

Ohlman would also likely finish first in the league in slugging percentage at .524, which would be a Keys’ single-season record.

Update: Rochester won that game to officially eliminate Norfolk. Both clubs finished 77-67 on the year but Rochester earns the wild-card berth with its 6-2 season series win over the Tides.

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