SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Bud Norris’ spring has been forgettable. In his fifth start, which won’t count in the official statistics because the Baltimore Orioles’ game with the Tampa Bay Rays was canceled by rain after 3 1/2 innings, Norris was not sharp.
He allowed three runs on four hits in four innings.
”It’s been an interesting camp for me, but I got my work in today,” Norris said.
In Norris’ 11 2-3 official innings, he’s allowed 12 earned runs on 16 hits.
Norris’ 2014 season was his best as a big leaguer. He was 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA. His inconsistency has baffled Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.
”That’s a good question. Command has not been very good. As good as he’s capable of. He’s an athletic guy, can throw it where he wants to most of the time. He hasn’t been very consistent with that yet. He’s crisp with most things, just not consistency of command,” Showalter said.
Norris even argued with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck in the fourth inning.
”I threw a 2-1 slider that I thought caught the corner, and he said it was high. I kind of referred back and said, I didn’t think that was high. He didn’t like my comments, so he started to make a stroll out there, and I was waiting for him to see what he had to say. Buck comes out there, and says, `What’s the problem?’ Hirschbeck says, `No problem.’ I said, `Well, obviously there’s a problem; obviously you’re coming out.’ We talked it through,” Norris said.
In his first four starts, Norris had given up five home runs. He allowed a long second home run to Rene Rivera.
Tampa Bay starting pitcher Everett Teaford was lifted after two innings because manager Kevin Cash wanted to get some work for Mike Montgomery.
Nolan Reimold hit Teaford’s first pitch for a home run, and Adam Jones hit a three-run home run off Montgomery.
Teaford, who has an outside chance to make the Rays, is competing for a spot on the injury-depleted staff.
”This could be an unfortunate situation where the Rays really find out what’s in their system and once those guys get back healthy and if everybody continues to throw the ball pretty well then look at your problem, so to say. It’s like Ohio State,” Teaford said.
Orioles: OF David Lough, who has been out with back spasms since Tuesday, should be able to play Sunday when the team has a split-squad doubleheader. … RHP Darren O’Day was unavailable because of dental work. … 2B Jonathan Schoop returned after missed two days because he had two teeth extracted. … SS J.J. Hardy collided with Schoop in the second inning and suffered a slightly bruised right shoulder, but said he was fine after the game.
Rays: Cash says that RHPs Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi will start the second and third games of the regular season against Baltimore. He’s not sure in what order they’ll pitch. RHP Chris Archer will start on opening day, Cash announced on Thursday.
Orioles: Showalter said that RHP Kevin Gausman will start on Tuesday against the Rays. After Thursday’s game, Showalter said that Gausman, who threw only one inning, was being auditioned for a role as either a starter or reliever.
Rays: Karns starts against Boston Red Sox RHP Steven Wright on Saturday. He has allowed three earned runs on nine hits in 13 1/3 innings.
Orioles: Rookie RHP Tyler Wilson starts against Scott Baker and the New York Yankees in Tampa on Saturday.