Baseball / Sports

Norris throws eight scoreless innings in Orioles' 4-0 win over Red Sox

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles opened a 13-game stretch against American League East opponents Monday night against the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.

While both teams have been inconsistent so far this season, the defending World Series champion Red Sox have struggled mightily in the past week.

Right-hander Bud Norris recorded his best start since joining the club last July, tossing eight scoreless innings and holding Boston to just three hits as the Orioles handed the Red Sox their sixth loss in the last seven games with a 4-0 win in front of an announced 19,729 at Camden Yards.

After the Orioles were forced to account for 62/3 innings with their bullpen Sunday afternoon, they needed a deep start from Norris. He provided just that, matching his career-long outing while striking out six batters and walking three in the 2-hour, 21-minute game.

The Orioles (32-30) backed Norris with three home runs off Boston starter Jake Peavy, including right fielder Nick Markakis' two-run homer in the fifth inning that landed on the right-field flag court.

Adam Jones, who served as the designated hitter, hit a solo home run in the first inning, and second baseman Ryan Flaherty added a solo shot in the seventh.

Markakis, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single, is batting .380 with three homers and 10 RBIs over that span.

In the fifth inning, Markakis turned on a 2-1 hanging curveball from Peavy for his sixth homer of the season and his third in his last six games to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

Norris had allowed four or more runs in four of his last five starts before Monday, but he retired 13 straight Boston batters after allowing a single by Brock Holt to open the game. Norris constantly worked ahead in the count against the Red Sox, throwing first-pitch strikes to nine of the first 12 batters he faced.

Norris (5-5) earned his first win against the Red Sox in five career starts. He was 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA against Boston before Monday.

Three batters into the bottom of the first, Jones launched a 1-0 slider from Peavy over the center-field fence for his 10th homer of the season and the 150th of his career.

Flaherty had only one home run this season before blasting a first-pitch delivery into the third row of the center-field seats in the seventh.

Flaherty also made a nice play defensively in the top of the fifth, diving to his left to catch David Ortiz's line drive while being positioned in shallow right field on a shift.

Peavy (1-4) hadn't allowed more than one homer in any of his 12 previous starts this season before giving up three Monday. Peavy, who is winless in his last eight starts, allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings Monday. He struck out seven hitters and walked one.

The Red Sox (28-35) didn't have many opportunities against Norris. Their best chance came in the sixth, when they had two runners on and one out after Norris issued a pair of walks.

But Norris escaped the jam, inducing a flyout to right field from Xander Bogaerts and a fielder's choice from Dustin Pedroia.

Norris left to a loud ovation from the home crowd after he stranded a runner at third base in the eighth when he struck out Bogaerts on three pitches, making him swing at a slider in the dirt to end the inning.

Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless ninth in his first outing since returning from the 15-day disabled list Sunday, retiring the Red Sox in order in the ninth.

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