With a seventh-inning assist from Darren O’Day and an eighth-inning assist from his defense, Bud Norris pitched another strong game for the Orioles today. Norris gave up just one run over 6 2/3 innings as the Orioles edged Toronto 3-2.
The Orioles improved to 35-32 and moved back to within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Blue Jays.
Following up on his eight scoreless innings against Boston, Norris gave up seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 112 pitches, one shy of his season-high.
Over his last two starts, Norris is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.61. He has pitched 14 2/3 innings, giving up 10 hits and one run. He improves to 6-5 with an ERA of 3.73 for the season.
After retiring the first two hitters in the seventh, Toronto came up with back-to-back singles and Norris left to a standing ovation. O’Day came on with a 3-1 lead and got Melky Cabrera to ground out to strand two runners in scoring position.
Toronto trimmed their deficit to 3-2 in the eighth, but before that, had a runner cut down at the plate on a perfect relay from left fielder Nelson Cruz to shortstop J.J. Hardy to catcher Nick Hundley.
Zach Britton pitched a scoreless ninth today to record his seventh save and the Orioles improved to 13-10 in one-run games.
Down 1-0, the Orioles tied it in the fourth against starter R.A. Dickey. Delmon Young singled with one out, hustled to third on a Ryan Flaherty bloop single and scored on Hundley’s sac fly.
An inning later, the Orioles took the lead. Adam Jones reached second on a two-base error by third baseman Juan Francisco. He scored when Chris Davis blasted a two-run homer to left.
Davis hit No. 11 on a 1-0 pitch. In his previous seven games, he went 3-for-26 with 12 strikeouts. The Orioles were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position Saturday and 1-for-17 the last two games until Davis connected for the lead.
Winners of four of six and nine of their past 14, the Orioles will try to take this series Sunday afternoon when Chris Tillman (5-3, 4.91 ERA) faces J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.37 ERA).