White Sox-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

Bud Norris is doing what the Baltimore Orioles had hoped when they acquired him at the trading deadline to help the club make a push toward the playoffs.

The right-hander looks for a third straight strong start as the Orioles try to complete a four-game sweep and send the Chicago White Sox to their second 10-game losing streak of the season Sunday.

Norris (10-10, 4.01 ERA) is 4-0 with a 4.08 ERA in seven starts since Baltimore (76-65) picked him up from Houston at the end of the July. The third-place Orioles are 9 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston, but still very much alive in the race for the two wild-card spots.

"It's been a great transition," Norris said. "It's been something I've dreamed of as kid - to be in a pennant race.

"To be here in Baltimore, I'm very happy with everything around me, the teammates and organization. I try to do everything I can to help us win games.''

Since Norris endured a two-start stretch where he went 1-0, but allowed 11 runs, 18 hits and walked six over 10 1-3 innings, he's yielded a run and four hits in each of his last two starts while totaling 15 strikeouts over 12 1-3 innings to also go 1-0.

He lasted seven innings and fanned eight during a 7-2 victory at Cleveland on Monday.

In his only previous start versus Chicago, Norris gave up four runs in six innings of a 4-2 loss June 17.

He'll try to help Baltimore to its first series sweep of the White Sox (56-85) since doing so at home from May 4-6, 1999.

After Conor Gillaspie's solo homer gave Chicago a 3-2 lead in the 10th inning Saturday, Baltimore's Matt Wieters delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the frame for a 4-3 victory.

The Orioles have won five of seven overall, and four in a row at home.

"We have to keep winning,'' said Wieters, who is 4 for 9 with a homer and three RBIs in the series. "We have to win (Sunday) and come here with that mindset. It's go time now. There's no more get 'em later. It's go now and make our run.''

With three hits Saturday, Baltimore's Danny Valencia is 16 for 28 since he was recalled from the minors Aug. 19.

Valencia usually only starts against left-handers, but his hot streak could keep him in the lineup even though the White Sox will start right-handed rookie Andre Rienzo (1-1, 5.03), who has allowed 12 runs, 14 hits - four homers - and walked seven over nine innings while going 0-1 in his last two starts. The Brazilian-born Rienzo lasted three innings last Sunday during a 7-6 loss at Boston, where he gave up five runs and walked four.

"I still feel good," Rienzo told the White Sox's official website following his seventh career start. "I'll just keep on working for the next one."

Second baseman Gordon Beckham is 0 for 11 with five strikeouts in this series for the White Sox, who dropped 10 straight July 26-Aug. 4.

"You just bounce back, keep going," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.

Baltimore's Brian Roberts is 3 for 20 this season against the White Sox, but all three hits have been homers.

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