Norris on his outing tonight, plus Markakis and Flaherty comments

Bud Norris pitched eight innings of scoreless baseball tonight to lead the Orioles past Boston 4-0 as they get this series off to a good start.

What was working for Norris out there?

“Little bit of everything,” he said. “We are always focused on getting ahead in counts and really fastball command. Caleb (Joseph) called a great game and the guys made the plays behind me. Just that extra little bit of focus to play the game.”

Norris gave up just three hits tonight and threw 98 pitches. He said he had a good changeup which was big and he also tried to get ahead often against a patient Boston lineup.

“Extremely important (his changeup),” Norris said. “Something I’ve been working on forever. It seems to be my third pitch but have to have confidence with it. I know I need it. Some days it’s there and some days it’s not.

“If they are going to be patient I have to attack the zone right away with strikes. They know how to hit over there, they’re a good team but it was a good win for us.”

This was the O’s fourth shutout of the year and this was the fourth time in his career Norris has gone eight innings and that is his career high.

Norris was dealing with a blister at times tonight on his pitching hand. How long was he dealing with it?

“My career,” he said. “I think I’ve had them since college. It’s in an awkward spot for me but I have to take care of it the next few days. And I will. I know how to maintain it,” he said.

Nick Markakis had some props for Norris.

“He was great,” Markakis said. “I’m sure if you asked him he didn’t want to walk anybody. But when he did have guys on he got better. He threw great and it was a good win.”

Markakis went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. He is batting .379 during the streak with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs.

“I’m seeing the ball well, putting some good swings on it. Try not to change anything. Stick with what is working.”

Markakis was reminded by a reporter that he’s now had two long hitting streaks this year.

“Great, now I’m going to go 0-fer tomorrow, thank you,” he said. “I don’t look too much into it. My job in the leadoff spot is to get on base, especially with what I’ve got hitting behind me. Get on and you feel like you’re doing your job.”

Ryan Flaherty had two hits, including a solo homer, and scored twice tonight but he knows this win started with the job Norris did on the mound.

“Right around the zone, pounding strikes,” Flaherty said. “Feels like we were in the field for about a minute each time. He dominated. They are all big in the AL East, it was a good win.”

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