Norris on Norris and game update (O’s lose 8-6)


Score: Cardinals 8, Orioles 6

Recap: Adam Jones hit two home runs and drove in four runs. Bud Norris retired the last six batters he faced, but he threw 71 pitches (by my count) in four innings, only 41 for strikes, and left with the Orioles down 3-2. He allowed two earned runs and three hits, walked four and struck out five. Norris loaded the bases with one out in the first, but struck out the next two batters. Matt Adams hit a two-run homer in the third. Manny Machado hit his first spring home run in the bottom of the first and Jones hit his second leading off the fourth. Machado added an RBI double off John Lackey in the fifth and Jones launched a three-run shot. Tyler Wilson allowed his first spring run after eight scoreless innings over four appearances, but came back with a scoreless sixth. Randal Grichuk hit a two-run home run off Chaz Roe in ninth to give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead. Ed Easley drove in another run in the ninth to give the Cardinals an 8-6 lead.

Need to know: Norris threw 27 pitches, 16 strikes, in the first. Steve Clevenger threw out Jon Jay trying to steal in the first, but the Cardinals swiped three bags in the second. Machado committed two fielding errors, but also made a nice diving stop along the line. Catcher J.P. Arencibia committed a throwing error in the eighth, leading to an unearned run off Chaz Roe. Wilson hadn’t issued a walk this spring until the fifth inning. Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia, pitching for the first time since March 10, struck out the side in the seventh. Attendance: 8,535 at Ed Smith Stadium, the highest this spring and the ninth sellout in 10 games.

On deck: Tuesday, at Pirates in Bradenton, 1:05 p.m

SARASOTA, Fla. - Bud Norris made his fourth start of the spring today and left with his ERA at 9.26 in 11 2/3 innings.

Norris allowed three runs (two earned) and three hits in four innings, with four walks and five strikeouts. He’s in good health, which is the primary goal down here.

“You know, spring’s been great,” he said after going four innings for the second time. “You’re just trying to get healthy and that’s what I keep saying to myself.

norris-pitching-front-gray-sidebar.jpg“Every year’s a little bit different, but today get through four innings and the pitch count up was good. I had a couple brain farts in a couple scenarios, but getting out of there and talking to Walls (Dave Wallace) after, knowing I’m where I want to be, he’s happy with the results as far as how I feel and everything else. The competitive nature’s going to come obviously when the regular season gets going again, so I think that’s going to wake me up a little bit. But throwing all the pitches now and seeing some good results, seeing some shaky results, but working counts and working the game and just trying to get there.”

Norris retired the last six batters and said he felt better as he got deeper into his start.

“I was really trying to find a rhythm and a flow and a routine and it’s kind of hard sometimes, first pitch of the game, but (Steve) Clevenger was great in the ‘pen and we had a really good plan going in and he called a great game. Just trying to really build on my rhythm and that momentum,” Norris said.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the first, but Norris struck out Randal Grichuk and former Oriole Scott Moore.

“At the end of the year that’s really what makes us us,” he said. “You’re going to be in a lot of jams and when you can really bear down and get out of those situations, I did that time in and time out last year and that’s really what you’ve got to do because there are a lot of close games and sometimes one run can really change it. Keeping them right there is pretty important and you’ve got to keep making strides from there.”

Norris has allowed 12 runs (13 total) and 16 hits in 11 2/3 innings this spring, with nine walks and nine strikeouts.

“I wanted to see a little bit better results today,” he said. “I was kind of upset with myself, 3-2 walk and 3-0 fastball that he hit over the fence. I’m not necessarily happy with that. But Wally came out shortly thereafter and said, ‘You look fine mechanically, the competitive nature is going to come.’ That’s what we were talking about on the bench.

“Obviously, getting home and pitching in front of the fans in Baltimore is going to be great, but it’s a big league game for a reason. I’m going to get there. I’m not that worried. I just want to get there.”

The Orioles lead the Cardinals 6-5 in the eighth after the Cardinals scored an unearned run off Chaz Roe. Catcher J.P. Arencibia committed a throwing error after fielding a slow roller to the left side of the plate.

Adam Jones has homered twice and driven in four runs. Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia, making his first appearance since March 10, allowed a hit and struck out the side in the seventh.

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