"That's what we're trying to do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of getting Norris, who allowed five earned runs, on a roll. "He has some periods where he's pitched well, but not as consistent as he did for a long period of time last year, and will again. I try to keep in mind we haven't even played half the season yet and Bud will do some good things for us."
Norris, who went 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 13 second-half starts in 2014, was grateful for Showalter's vote of confidence. But the ultra-competitive righty also knows that the first-place O's have a current pitching logjam -- with guys like Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson at Triple-A -- and Norris will have to do better than Monday's showing.
"Buck's given me confidence to go out there and do my job. I think he really knows what kind of guy I am, and so I think that says a lot," Norris said. "But I can't worry about what's behind me. I just want to help those guys. We've got some really good young talent coming through, and I had a lot of fun in Spring Training helping those guys -- the Gausmans and Wilsons and Mike Wrights. I don't know where my future's gonna take me. All know is I can handle what's in front of me right now, and trying to work through this is the No. 1 priority and getting back out there and helping my team win games, because I feel once I get [win] No. 3, I think I can really go from there and turn this thing around."
Norris is 2-7 on the year and has three quality starts in 11 games. He spent some time on the disabled list earlier this season after losing a substantial amount of weight with bronchitis, and Norris said several times on Monday night he doesn't think he's that far away from his 2014 self.
"I'm not a first-half guy, I hope I'm a second-half guy," he said. "I know what I did for this team last year in the second half and I just want to get back to that guy.
"A couple pitches here and there, if I find my slider, I feel like I'm a lot more in-tune with the game. I wasn't that far off. There was some positives to this, but I got to look at these negatives too and understand you have to keep the ball in the ballpark."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.