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Bud Norris pitches Orioles past Pirates 4-2

By ROB BIERTEMPFEL
Associated Press
  •  

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Baltimore starter Bud Norris gave up a solo homer to Andrew McCutchen, then settled in and helped the Orioles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Thursday night.

McCutchen homered to right field in the first inning. The reigning NL MVP has reached base in all 10 of his games this spring and is batting .556 (15 for 27) with three walks.

''It's a great battle,'' Norris said. ''He's a great player. We all know who he is, and what he's capable of doing. He's someone a lot of teams are going to have to deal with this year.''

In five innings, Norris gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five. The right-hander retired five of the final six batters he faced.

Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano left in the sixth inning with tightness in his left groin. Liriano limped slightly as he walked to the clubhouse. He gave up four hits in 5 2-3 innings, walked one and struck out four.

Nelson Cruz drove in the Orioles' first run with a double to center field.

STARTING TIME

Orioles: Norris bounced back well after yielding three runs in 1 2-3 innings during his previous start against the New York Yankees. ''Considering the way the Yankees (game) went, I was happy to get through five tonight,'' Norris said. ''The ups and downs are really important and I felt pretty good out there. We're all trying to elevate that pitch count each time we go out there. I think I got to about 75, which is good, and hopefully I can build on that.''

Pirates: The 30-year-old Liriano is slated to start on opening day, but that could be in jeopardy if his groin injury turns out to be serious. ''I felt a little tight the whole game and didn't want to keep pitching like that,'' Liriano said. ''I think it's going to be OK. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and go from there.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Third baseman Manny Machado had his surgically repaired left knee evaluated in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. A buildup of scar tissue recently set back Machado's rehab program. ElAttrache lifted all physical restrictions on Machado, but it's still up to the Orioles when he's cleared and ready to play. ... Outfielder David Lough (stiff neck, concussion symptoms) played for the first time in more than a week. He came off the bench in the sixth inning, singled and scored a run. Lough was cleared after his MRI and heart test results were negative. He isn't sure what caused the symptoms, but thinks they might have been triggered when he attempted an inside-the-park home run March 8 against the Boston Red Sox. ... After having a colonoscopy and endoscopy Thursday, infielder Alex Gonzalez might return to action Friday.

Pirates: Left-hander Jeff Locke (oblique) threw two innings in a simulated game and reported no problems.

CALL TO THE `PEN

Pirates right-hander Bryan Morris boosted his chances of making the team by improving his cutter and adding a two-seam fastball.

''I think (the cutter) has more depth right now than it had last year,'' Morris said, adding that the pitch will enable him to get more strikeouts.

He tinkered with a two-seamer toward the end of last season, and the new weapon has produced good results so far this spring. Morris, who is out of minor league options, is among four relievers fighting for three jobs in the bullpen. He has not allowed a run in his past four outings, including a scoreless inning against the Orioles.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Baltimore

N. Cruz
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Pittsburgh

A. McCutchen
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alexi Casilla, SS4010011 .083
   Steve Clevenger, C1000000 .500
Nolan Reimold, DH4010001 .276
   Julio Borbon, PR-DH1100011 .200
Adam Jones, CF2100100 .190
   David Lough, CF1110000 .292
Nelson Cruz, RF3021002 .346
   Henry Urrutia, PR-RF1001000 .290
Steve Pearce, 1B3010012 .275
   a-Chad Tracy, PH-1B0001000 .000
Delmon Young, LF3000012 .242
   Quintin Berry, LF1010000 .276
Jonathan Schoop, 2B2010010 .406
   b-Jemile Weeks, PH-2B1100101 .138
Caleb Joseph, C3010001 .143
   Ryan Flaherty, PR-SS1010000 .314
Michael Almanzar, 3B2001010 .194
   Buck Britton, 3B1000001 .125
Bud Norris, P0000000 .000
   Steve Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Alfredo Aceves, P0000000 .000
   T.J. McFarland, P0000000 .000
Totals34410426  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Pearce in the 8th
b-walked for Schoop in the 7th
Batting
2B - Nelson Cruz 2 (6, Liriano)
3B - Quintin Berry (1, Mann)
SF - Chad Tracy (1), Michael Almanzar (1)
RBI - Nelson Cruz (3), Henry Urrutia (3), Chad Tracy (1), Michael Almanzar (8)
2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz (1)
SB - Alexi Casilla (1, 2nd base off Liriano/Martin), David Lough (3, 2nd base off Mazzaro/Santos), Jemile Weeks (7, 3rd base off Mazzaro/Martin), Ryan Flaherty (2, 2nd base off Mazzaro/Martin)
CS - Alexi Casilla (1, 3rd base by Liriano/Martin)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris 5211251 2.31
Steve Johnson (W,1-0) 1000020 2.25
Alfredo Aceves (H,4) 1000000 5.00
T.J. McFarland (S,1) 2411010 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 37-27, Steve Johnson 7-7, Alfredo Aceves 3-3, T.J. McFarland 12-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 4-5, Steve Johnson 1-0, Alfredo Aceves 2-1, T.J. McFarland 5-0
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 18, Steve Johnson 3, Alfredo Aceves 3, T.J. McFarland 10
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF3000010 .265
   Jaff Decker, CF1010000 .206
Andrew Lambo, DH4011010 .105
   Andy Vasquez, PR-DH0000000 .000
Andrew McCutchen, CF2111100 .556
   Drew Maggi, LF1000002 .250
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3000021 .278
   Brent Morel, 3B1000000 .160
Russell Martin, C3000011 .333
   Omir Santos, C1010000 .300
Neil Walker, 2B3000010 .241
   Robert Andino, 2B1000000 .179
Gaby Sanchez, 1B1000110 .353
   Travis Ishikawa, 1B2000001 .333
Jose Tabata, RF2010001 .129
   Chris Dickerson, RF1000010 .360
Jordy Mercer, SS2000001 .174
   Michael Martinez, SS1110000 .407
Francisco Liriano, P0000000 .000
   Kenn Kasparek, P0000000 .000
   Vin Mazzaro, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Mann, P0000000 .000
   Bryan Morris, P0000000 .000
Totals3226228  
Batting
2B - Jose Tabata (1, Norris)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (4, Norris)
RBI - Andrew Lambo (3), Andrew McCutchen (6)
2-OUT RBI - Andrew Lambo (2), Andrew McCutchen (4)
SB - Andrew McCutchen (2, 2nd base off Norris/Joseph)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Mercer-Walker, Mercer-Walker-Mercer-Walker-G. Sanchez
E - Pedro Alvarez (3, Throwing), Jordy Mercer (1, Misplayed grounder), Neil Walker (2, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Francisco Liriano 5.2400140 2.31
Kenn Kasparek (BS,1) 0.1110000 0.00
Vin Mazzaro (L,0-1) 1.1333110 5.40
Brandon Mann 0.2100000 2.45
Bryan Morris 1100010 3.68
Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 31-27, Kenn Kasparek 3-3, Vin Mazzaro 15-9, Brandon Mann 3-3, Bryan Morris 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 8-3, Kenn Kasparek 1-1, Vin Mazzaro 2-1, Brandon Mann 1-1, Bryan Morris 1-1
Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 20, Kenn Kasparek 3, Vin Mazzaro 8, Brandon Mann 3, Bryan Morris 4
Game Information
Attendance - 8186
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Sean Barber, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Jon Byrne, Third Base - Seth Buckminster