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Norris wins again for Orioles

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- When the Houston Astros said, "This Bud's for you," this is what the Baltimore Orioles envisioned.

Bud Norris earned his second victory in as many starts since being acquired by Baltimore in a trade with Houston on July 31, disposing of the San Diego Padres 4-1 Tuesday at Petco Park.

"It's the same thing I'd been doing down in Houston, just trying to do my job," Norris said. "It's great to come over to a club in a pennant race and focused on winning -- just throw strikes and let the guys play defense. Our focus is on winning. That is where my focus is, too."

Norris went six innings and allowed five hits, two walks and one run, making key pitches at critical junctures as Baltimore opened its eight-game road trip by snapping a two-game losing streak.

"He wiggled out of a couple situations early, but he pitched real well to get out of them," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He made a lot of good pitches when they had some situations there."

Norris (8-9) was backed by four relievers, with Jim Johnson pitching the ninth for his major-league-leading 39th save.

"He has been doing it for a long time," Showalter said. "We are fortunate to have him."

Adam Jones was Baltimore's hitting star, going 4-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs. His RBI single in the first inning opened the scoring, and his solo shot leading off the fourth increased the Orioles' edge to 2-0.

"I was just trying to see something up and it was a strike," Jones said of his homer off a changeup. "He didn't throw many fastballs to me anyway and I hit it off the end of the bat. But I got just enough of it to get it out."

The Orioles are hoping to get hot in their quest to make a run at the AL East lead, or at least a wild-card berth.

"We've got to do it again tomorrow; the game is over with now," said Adams, a former San Diego prep star. "It's August and every game is important. Whatever happened in the last game, we've got to throw it away."

The Padres climbed back into the game in the sixth. Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley delivered consecutive singles to start the inning, and Denorfia scored on Yonder Alonso's line-drive single to right.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Norris got back on track. He froze Jedd Gyorko on a fastball for a called third strike and induced Alexi Amarista to fly to center, with Headley tagging and advancing to third.

When Alonso reached second on a wild pitch, the Padres had the go-ahead run in scoring position and an opportunity to chase Norris, but Logan Forsythe popped up to shortstop J.J. Hardy to end the rally.

"Our situational hitting was not good," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We need to do a better job at it, there's no doubt about it. I think that was the game."

The Orioles didn't take long to get going. Nate McClouth smacked a double on the opening pitch from Edinson Volquez (8-9). With two outs, Jones bounced a single up the middle that glanced off shortstop Forsythe's glove. Chris Davis followed with an infield single, but Jones tried to reach third on the play and was thrown out by first baseman Alonso.

Forsythe was starting in place of Padres All-Star Everth Cabrera, who began his 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's substance-abuse policy.

Jones got his second RBI of the game in the fourth with his 23rd home run of the season.

Volquez pitched six innings of two-run ball. He gave up six hits and two walks while striking out six.

Davis hit an RBI double in the eighth, and Manny Machado capped the scoring with a run-scoring single in the ninth.

The Orioles had the big hits; the Padres didn't.

"I think we had our chances and we couldn't capitalize for some reason," Alonso said. "(Norris) made some real good pitches when he had to."

NOTES: Black said his team, after losing Cabrera, was eager to play after an eventful day off. "I think our guys are ready to move on," Black said. "Our guys will be fine. We were braced for this." Cabrera was the team's lone All-Star Game representative this season. ... Machado is engaged to Alonso's sister.
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