(SportsNetwork.com) – Bud Norris will try to move past a horrible spring on
Friday afternoon as the Baltimore Orioles celebrate their home opener with the
first of three straight games against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Norris gets the call for this afternoon’s test following perhaps the best
season of his career. The 30-year-old completed his first full campaign with
the Orioles and posted career bests in wins, earned run average and WHIP
(1.22), going 15-8 with a 2.65 ERA in 28 starts.
The right-hander spent the first five-plus seasons of his career in Houston
before joining Baltimore by way of trade on July 31, 2013.
Norris comes into this game undefeated in six previous meetings with the Blue
Jays, going 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA. However, he’ll look to move past a spring in
which he pitched to a 9.26 ERA in four starts, giving up 12 earned runs and
five homers over 11 2/3 innings.
Baltimore will kick off its schedule at Camden Yards following a series
victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles plated 12 runs in winning the
first two contests, but were held to just three hits while striking out 13
times in a 2-0 loss in Wednesday’s finale.
Starter Miguel Gonzalez walked five in all during his 5 2/3-inning stint, in
which the right-hander was charged with a run on three hits while striking out
“We walked too many people, and we struck out too many times,” said Orioles
manager Buck Showalter.
Baltimore’s bats will go up against veteran hurler Mark Buehrle today.
The 36-year-old Buehrle started off last season 10-1, but dropped nine of his
final 12 decisions while pitching to a 4.25 ERA over his last 20 starts.
Still, he ended the year 13-10 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 outings, marking his 14th
straight season of at least 10 wins and 200 innings pitched.
Buehrle slots in at No. 4 in the Blue Jays’ rotation, but part of the reason
was to miss a start at Yankee Stadium to begin the season as he has struggled
at that ballpark.
“Doesn’t matter to me,” Buehrle told Toronto’s website. “I’m going to get 33
starts in by the end of the year, so it doesn’t matter.”
The left-hander went 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA in three starts versus the Orioles
last season and is 3-5 all-time at Camden Yards with a 4.24 ERA in 11 games
The Blue Jays picked up a series victory over the hosting Yankees, winning
Thursday’s rubber match, 6-3. Daniel Norris earned his first career win by
pitching into the sixth inning, scattering three runs on six hits while
allowing homers to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
“I felt good getting into the sixth,” Norris said. “Take away (the home runs)
and it was a pretty good night.”
Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homer, Jose Reyes went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and
rookie Miguel Castro closed out the win with a perfect ninth.
The O’s went 11-8 last season versus the Blue Jays and swept the most recent
series in Baltimore between the clubs from Sept. 15-17.