Norris bounces back for O's in best start of season

With boost from bats, struggling right-hander limits Red Sox to three runs

Norris bounces back for O's in best start of season

BALTIMORE -- Bud Norris needed this.

The righty, who entered Sunday with a 17.42 ERA, took a shutout into the seventh inning and picked up his first victory in four starts in an encouraging outing against the Red Sox, which the Orioles won, 18-7.

"It really feels good, to be honest," Norris said of his first quality start this season. "Just to prove to these guys that I'm here to help out, do anything I can to pitch. These guys know who I am, so we're trying to find our stride, and we have a good group in this clubhouse.

"[I'm] excited for this year. We know it's still early. We're trying to find our stride and take one step at a time."

Norris allowed seven hits -- three of which came in his final inning -- and struck out two in the 107-pitch outing, which ended with an ovation from the home crowd.

"That's the Bud that pitched well for us last year," manager Buck Showalter said. "This guy won 15 games last year, and he was in attack mode today.

"You never want to see the wind get knocked out of their sails a little bit, and I don't think that will happen with Bud, but it was a good reminder of how good he was for us last year and will be again."

Norris, coming off a career year in 2014, improved to 5-1 with a 3.71 ERA in nine starts as an Oriole at Camden Yards. The righty regained his command on Sunday and allowed just three runs, which all came on a homer from his final batter, Pablo Sandoval.

"Bud was locating his fastball terrifically today," catcher Ryan Lavarnway said. "He's got great stuff, and he is capable of doing that every time out. I'm looking forward to what he'll take from this going into the next start."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.