SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — In his first spring start, Bud Norris allowed four runs in one inning to a Boston Red Sox split squad in their 7-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Norris, who won a career-high 15 games last season, gave up a one-out triple to Jemile Weeks and a three-run homer to top Boston catching prospect Blake Swihart. He also walked one and threw a wild pitch. Norris threw 30 pitches in his only inning.
“It was good to get back out there. Haven’t been out there since October, and some hitters. Probably going a hair too fast, kind of putting the training wheels back on and trying to get yourself comfortable out there,” Norris said.
Manager Buck Showalter thinks Norris will improve.
“He’ll do better. It’s kind of a reminder,” Showalter said.
Steven Wright started for Boston and the knuckleball pitcher allowed one unearned run and two hits in two innings.
Wright was followed by Eduardo Rodriguez who threw three perfect innings. Rodriguez was traded to Boston from the Orioles last July for Andrew Miller.
Baltimore rookie outfielder Dariel Alvarez hit a three-run homer in the ninth.
Swihart had three hits.
Red Sox: Wright is expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, but could see time with the Red Sox later in the season.
“Any time you’re able to go out there and throw that many strikes, especially against a lineup like Baltimore’s, it’s definitely something I can build off of,” Wright said.
Rodriguez breezed through three innings, striking out three.
Torey Lovullo, the Red Sox’s bench coach who was managing this half of the team while John Farrell was back in Fort Myers, said he wasn’t sure if the decision to start Rodriguez against his former organization was intentional.
“That might be a little bit over my jurisdiction,” Lovullo joked. “I’m sure he wants to show them where he’s at right now.”
Rodriguez was happy with his performance.
“It was fun to spend some time with guys I spent four years with. I said hello to a lot of them and they said hello to me. I just tried to keep the same routine and do what I was doing. Thankfully it went well,” Rodriguez said through a translator.
Orioles: Hunter Harvey, Baltimore’s No. 1 draft choice in 2013, pitched a perfect eighth in his first spring appearance.
Wright was the second straight knuckleballer Baltimore faced. They were hitless in two innings against Toronto’s R.A. Dickey on Friday.
The Orioles have a knuckleballer, Eddie Gamboa, who is trying to make the team. Showalter is trying to convince him to rely on the knuckler more.
Orioles C Matt Wieters continues to progress well in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and is scheduled to catch in two practice games on March 14 and 15. Showalter says he remains on track to return on March 17 and should be able to catch five to seven innings immediately. There have been no setbacks.
“Every report is a little better than the last one,” Showalter said.
Wieters was 0 for 4 as the designated hitter, and is hitless in 10 at-bats this spring.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello starts for the first time with Boston when the Red Sox visit the New York Mets. The Mets start LHP Jon Niese.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez pitches against RHP Ervin Santana as the Orioles visit Minnesota on Sunday. Jimenez allowed five runs in 1 1-3 innings in his first start.
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