Tigers' Norris delivers another solid start

Young lefty settles in, allows just two runs over 5 2/3

Tigers' Norris delivers another solid start

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus often says that about all that a manager can ask of his starter is to give his team a chance to win.

Daniel Norris did just that Saturday at Comerica Park, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Tigers' 7-4 loss against the Royals.

Norris has given the Tigers a chance to win just about every game he has started this season, never allowing more than three earned runs in a start and going at least five innings deep in each start, except for one that he left with an injury.

"He's learning and he's in the thick of a pennant race as, essentially, a rookie," Ausmus said, "and doing what he should be doing, giving us a chance to win the game."

Norris struggled with his command early, running his pitch count up to 38 in the second, but was able to corral himself by the third.

As the Tigers had picked up wins in each of his past five starts entering Saturday, he thought his performance after the second was more reflective of the pitcher he is capable of being and has shown over the last month.

"I was kind of nibbling too much and then after the third I just went back to what I've been throwing the last few outings and just letting the ball go and trusting my stuff," said Norris, who struck out six and walked a pair. "That's when it kind of turned around for me."

The biggest change for Norris over the latter part of the season has been his health. He has had to battle numerous injuries in his young career and has been injury-free since an oblique strain in August.

"I finally don't have any injuries lingering around," Norris said, "and I've really been able to work every day with [pitching coach Rich] Dubee and work on my mechanics."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.