BALTIMORE -- Bud Norris earned the win in his debut for Baltimore against his former team, and Chris Davis got his league-leading 39th home run as the Orioles topped the Houston Astros, 6-3, on Thursday night.
With the victory, Baltimore took the three-game series. The Orioles also stayed 5.5 games behind first place Red Sox, who scored six times in the ninth to beat Seattle, 8-7.
Norris (1-0), who was traded by the Astros the previous day, allowed two runs on four hits with a season-high eight strikeouts and two walks in six innings. He also picked up his 14th quality start in 22 games this season.
Nate McLouth went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI for the Orioles. Rookie Henry Urrutia, Manny Machado and Davis also had two hits each for Baltimore. Orioles closer Jim Johnson picked up his 37th save with a scoreless ninth.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles (4-5) took the loss and allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Astros manager Bo Porter stacked the lineup with three lefties and three switch hitters against Norris. The strategy initially worked as Jason Castro and Marc Krauss each homered. Norris has given up 12 homers to left-handed hitters and just one to a righty this season.
The Orioles opened a 4-2 lead in the sixth on a two-out, RBI single by Brian Roberts that ended Norris' night. Travis Blackley entered and immediately allowed another RBI single to McLouth. Davis then provided more cushion with a mammoth shot to right off Blackley in the seventh.
L.J. Hoes, who was traded by Baltimore for Norris, pulled the Astros to within 6-3 with his first Major League RBI on a grounder in the eighth.
Wallace gave the Astros a 1-0 lead when he greeted Norris with a long home run to right-center in the second.
Krauss increased the margin to 2-0 with a two-out, solo homer in the fourth. Norris had given up just two home runs in three of his past 21 starts with the Astros, but he equalled that number in four innings against his former team.
A single by Nate McLouth cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth and ended a 15-inning scoreless streak by the Orioles. Manny Machado tied the game one batter later with a single and Nick Markakis provided the lead with a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Astros manager Bo Porter set his rotation Thursday for the weekend series against Minnesota, going in order with rookie RHP Jarred Cosart, LHP Erik Bedard and LHP Dallas Keuchel. ... The Astros recalled 2B Jimmy Paredes from Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City, and he started at second base in place of Jose Altuve, who has a left quad strain. ... Orioles RHP Jason Hammel, who was placed on the disabled list Monday with right flexor mass tightness, is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday. ... Orioles 3B Manny Machado snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a single in the first inning.