As the calendar has turned to August, it seems now that every game for the Orioles has turned into a must-win.
The Orioles pulled out another one against the Houston Astros, 6-3, taking two out three contests in their series. Bud Norris – who the Orioles acquired right at the trade deadline – did what he was supposed to: win.
He faced his former team in his Oriole debut and pitched six innings, giving up three runs for the victory, his seventh of the year. Norris' runs came off of two homers – from Brett Wallace and Mark Krauss – but was ace-like for the rest of the night, striking out eight and only allowing four hits.
Personally, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic about Norris. While a win against his former mates is good, how he handles himself against the deep lineups of the American League East will say a lot.
Norris is in the midst of a pennant chase and there’s going to be more pressure on him than ever.
I’m still a little concerned that the Orioles do not have enough for a long playoff run in terms of their rotation, but as it is, Norris should complement things as another reliable arm. The team, I believe, needs an ace and a game-changer on the mound; however, with what teams wanted for arms in terms of prospects and what not, the Orioles did as good as one could expect.
After laying an egg on Wednesday, the offense came through on Thursday. The Astros held the Baltimore bats silent for the first four innings, but the home team came around in the middle of the game.
They scored three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to earn their 60th win of the season.
Chris Davis, who has been mired in a deep slump, hit his 39th homer of the year in seventh inning and Nate McLouth drove in two runs. Manny Machado and Nick Markakis each drove in runs as well.
The designated hitter spot has been a problem for the Orioles all year; however, Henry Urrutia has been doing a decent job with the stick and had two hits last night. He is currently batting .333 on the season.
With the Astros out of the way, the Mariners are in town this weekend.
Like with Houston, Baltimore must take two out three from them in the series.
With the Royals and Indians amazingly hot, the Orioles can’t afford to lose ground at all.
Finally, the Baltimore Sun has a writeup of majority owner Peter Angelos and his legacy on their website today.
It’s worth a read no matter what you think of him.