Norris battered for four homers in Orioles' 8-1 loss to Rangers
BALTIMORE — On a night when Bud Norris gave up a career high-tying four home runs, the Orioles' right-hander labored through six innings.
That, unfortunately for Baltimore, was the best that could be said about his latest effort during a very trying season.
Mitch Moreland homered twice for the Texas Rangers, who ended the Orioles' four-game winning streak with an 8-1 victory Monday night.
Norris (2-7) allowed five runs, nine hits and a walk. His ERA is an unsightly 6.79 in 11 starts.
"I know what I have, I know what I can do and I'm excited to just keep working through it," he said.
It's pretty apparent what went wrong in this one.
"Three of the homers were on breaking balls, and one changeup. Just bad pitches," Norris said. "It's hard to go out there and pitch with just fastballs."
At least Norris spared Baltimore's six-man relief crew by lasting 105 pitches.
"It was a challenge, but he kind of kept us from having to do too much in the bullpen," manager Buck Showalter said. "That was a positive I'll take out of it."
The loss dropped the Orioles to 18-9 in June, 10-2 at home.
"I'm not panicking. It's just one game," first baseman Steve Pearce said.
The Rangers have long been known as a free-swinging, hard-hitting team. That reputation will only be enhanced when Josh Hamilton comes off the disabled list, likely Tuesday, after being sidelined for nearly a month with a strained left hamstring.
Hamilton hit two home runs in his seven games with Texas before going on the DL. Now, he's poised to return at a stadium where he once homered four times in one game.
"I'm good to go," Hamilton said Monday afternoon.
Prior to this game, Texas had lost seven of eight and was pressing at the plate. With Moreland leading the way, the Rangers banged out 14 hits, reached the eight-run mark for the first time since June 13 and tied a season high in homers set April 9 at Oakland.
"It seemed that every inning we had something going on," Moreland said. "The kind of game you want to lead a series off with. A pretty complete game."
Moreland hit a solo shot in the second inning and a two-run drive in the fourth. It was his sixth career two-homer game, the first since May 2013.
Carlos Corporan and Shin-Soo Choo each added a solo homer, and Joey Gallo contributed a three-run triple for the Rangers, who had lost 11 of 12 to the Orioles — including six straight at Camden Yards.
Texas starter Wandy Rodriguez (5-3) allowed one run and eight hits, striking out seven and walking two in five-plus innings. He is 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in eight road starts this year.
In the second inning, Moreland hit a liner to right that appeared to bounce high off the 25-foot scoreboard. Moreland was thrown out at second base, but a replay determined the drive to be a home run.
Corporan hit his third home run of the season in the third inning, and Moreland made it 4-0 in the fourth.
Choo connected leading off the fifth, the second of his three hits. He entered in a 1-for-17 slump.
Adam Jones singled home a run in the Baltimore half. But with the bases loaded, Rodriguez struck out Chris Davis and retired Delmon Young on a fly to right.
Gallo's first career triple, off Tommy Hunter with the bases loaded in the seventh, came after he struck out three times against Norris.
Rangers: Prince Fielder's five-game run of multihit games ended.
Orioles: Baltimore lost its first home series opener since May 28, but Manny Machado extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Rangers: LHP Matt Harrison (spinal fusion surgery) starts Wednesday for Triple-A Round Rock.
Orioles: 2B Jonathan Schoop (knee) will come off the DL this week. He's ready now, but Showalter wants him to "get more work under his belt."
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis, who is 1-4 with a 6.35 ERA against Baltimore, takes the mound Tuesday night.
Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez (6-4, 3.58 ERA) looks to tie teammate Ubaldo Jimenez for most wins on the Baltimore pitching staff.