Bats back Norris to take series over Tribe
CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Bud Norris returned to the Orioles' rotation on Sunday afternoon and helped Baltimore claim a series win in Cleveland with a 7-3 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field. Matt Wieters helped lead the offense with a home run and a triple.
Norris, who had been on the 15-day disabled list while battling bronchitis, logged five innings against the Indians in his first outing for the Orioles since May 10. The righty struck out seven, scattered four hits, issued two walks and held Cleveland to a 1-for-7 showing with runners in scoring position in his time on the hill.
"It felt great to just get back out there and play and have my team behind me," Norris said. "They were all very opening when I got back to Cleveland, so I just want to go out and help the team. To win two out of three on the road is hard to do, and that's a good club over there."
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco picked up the loss after being charged with five runs on seven hits in only four innings -- his shortest non-injury-related start of the season. Carrasco surrendered a solo homer to Baltimore's Adam Jones in the first inning, allowed three runs with two outs in the fourth and was on the hook for the run the O's tacked on in the fifth.
"I didn't have my best stuff today," Carrasco said. "My fastball command, it was a little bit out of the zone. I had to use more sliders, so they saw that a lot, and that's why I gave up hits."
Manny Machado (RBI single) and Travis Snider (two-run single) each came through for the Orioles in the fourth-inning outburst. Wieters added some insurance for Baltimore with a leadoff homer in the ninth inning, marking his first home run of the year after being activated from the disabled list on Friday.
Against Norris, Cleveland's only run came off the bat of Brandon Moss, who connected for an RBI double in the fourth inning. The Tribe loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Baltimore's bullpen but only managed to produce one run on a groundout from Ryan Raburn. In the ninth, Raburn added an RBI single off reliever Darren O'Day.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Adam's bomb: The Orioles wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as Jones sent the 14th pitch of Carrasco's afternoon to the left-field bleachers, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead. The homer was the ninth of the season for Jones and was projected by Statcast™ to land 415 feet away with an exit velocity of 107 mph.
"He's a kid that's grown into not only his body, but learning the league and what the league is trying to do to him," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He's a really good competitor. He's good. He's really good."
Doubling down: Cleveland's only breakthrough against Norris came in the fourth inning, when David Murphy and Moss opened the frame with back-to-back doubles into the right-field corner. Moss' two-base hit scored Murphy to put the Indians on the board, but Norris escaped further harm in his five-inning performance.
"We had some chances," Francona said. "Actually, it was 4-1 when we had first and second, nobody out, [after Moss' double], and then it kind of stalled. We had opportunities. You probably only get so many."
Hesitation game: In the fifth inning, Wieters sent a pitch from Carrasco off the right-field wall and bouncing by Moss (playing right field). After Moss ran down the roller, he casually threw it back in. The hesitation created an opening for Wieters to sprint to third base for a leadoff triple. Chris Davis followed with a sacrifice fly that put the Tribe behind, 5-1.
"[Moss] actually hustled in," Francona said, "and then he looked, and I think he thought [center fielder Michael Bourn] was going to pick it up. And Bourny wasn't there. It wasn't a lack of effort. He just thought Bourny was going to get it, and it wasn't happening, and then Wieters looked up and took third."
Comeback jack: Playing in just his third game of the year, Wieters hit his first home run of the season to lead off the ninth inning against Zach McAllister. The solo shot marked the switch-hitter's first long ball since May 1, 2014 -- six games before his season-ending elbow injury. Wieters also smacked his first triple since May 4, 2012, in the fifth inning. It's the first time in Wieters' career that he's hit a triple and a home run in the same game.
"I've played seven years with the man, so it's good to see him back hitting behind me," Jones said. More >
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis doubled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak at Progressive Field to 18 games. That is one hit shy of equaling the ballpark record for a Cleveland batter. Kipnis' teammate, Michael Brantley, boasts the longest streak with a 19-game run at the Tribe's home park from April 20-May 30 last season.
Buck Showalter used his ninth managerial challenge of the season in the fourth inning. Moss was on second base following a double and was caught leaning by Norris, who spun and fired back to second base. The throw beat Moss to the base, but the umpires ruled that Hardy (the shortstop) did not get the tag down in time. After a review lasting two minutes and 15 seconds, the call on the field stood.
Orioles: After an off-day, the Orioles begin an eight-game homestand, beginning with a three-game set against Boston on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Miguel Gonzalez (5-4, 3.54 ERA) will start for Baltimore, looking to limit the home runs after allowing three in his previous start and seven in his previous four.
Indians: Following a team off-day on Monday, Indians ace Corey Kluber (3-6, 3.61 ERA) will take the mound on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET in the opener of a three-game set against the Mariners. Kluber has posted a 2.03 ERA with 59 strikeouts and three walks in his past five starts (40 innings). On Monday, Cleveland will have the 17th overall pick in the first round of this year's Draft.
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