BALTIMORE (AP) — Bud Norris set his sights on the first complete game of his career until a blister on his pitching hand forced him to exit the game.
The right-hander, nonetheless, still managed his most dominant performance this season.
Norris pitched eight innings of three-hit ball and Adam Jones hit one of the Baltimore Orioles’ three home runs in a 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty also connected for the Orioles.
Norris (5-5) struck out six and walked three while matching the longest outing of his career. Coming in, he had given up four or more runs in four of his past five starts. The blister is not expected to affect Norris’ next outing, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter did not want to take any chances.
“It’s an awkward spot for me, but I’ve got to take care of it the next couple days and I know how to maintain it and so forth,” Norris said. So I think it was a precautionary reason. I understand he’s the skipper and he’s going to make decisions, I’m OK with that.”
Boston has lost six of its past seven games after a season-high seven game winning streak. The Red Sox have been shut out five times this season.
Jones had three hits, including his 150th career homer. Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games with two hits.
“I feel good up there, but the outcome ain’t going to be there sometimes,” Markakis said. “I’m seeing the ball well and putting good swings on it. Kind of trying not to change anything. Stick with your same approach, stick with what’s working.”
Boston right-hander Jake Peavy (1-4) allowed four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over seven innings. Peavy has given up three or more runs in seven consecutive starts and hasn’t won since April 25 against Toronto.
“Take a few pitches back and it’s a different game,” Peavy said. “I don’t care about my personal win-loss record. I don’t care about any personal numbers at this point. I’m pitching to win. I was pitching to win tonight. But we were grinding. That’s a really good lineup.”
After allowing a leadoff single to Brock Holt in the first, Norris retired 13 consecutive batters. Daniel Nava managed Boston’s second hit with a two-out double in the fifth.
“As well as Norris was pitching, he stayed out of the middle of the plate and had very good stuff, one run was going to be the difference the way this one turned out,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We couldn’t put too much together in any one inning.”
Jones gave the Orioles a lead in the first with his 10th homer.
“I’m trying to use the whole field,” Jones said. “I’m trying to not limit myself to just pulling the ball. That’s how I get in trouble. Just trying to use the whole field. If it’s in, try to pull it. If it’s away, try to stay on it. Not rocket science, but some sort of science.”
Baltimore then increased the lead to 3-0 that same inning when Markakis hit a two-run shot off Peavy onto the flag court. Flaherty’s solo shot in the seventh provided further cushion.
Tommy Hunter, who came off the disabled list Sunday, threw a scoreless ninth. The Orioles improved to 24-9 when scoring four or more runs.
Orioles starters have often failed to get deep into games this season. Both Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez failed to get through the third inning over the past four days. Showalter said arms were available in the bullpen, he lauded Norris for going deep into the game.
“Bud was really good,” Showalter said. “I’d have probably given him a chance to finish that game.”
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