Orioles’ offense stalls in 4-2 loss at Boston

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BOSTON (AP) - Baltimore starter Bud Norris could use a little offensive support, although he was pleased to see how quickly his teammates came to his defense.

Norris held Boston to four runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking two in a good performance that wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Orioles’ struggles at the plate as the Red Sox beat Baltimore 4-2 on Saturday.

Norris could take losing to the World Series champions, but was baffled by a moment in the seventh inning when a tie game was interrupted with players from both benches running onto the field after Boston catcher David Ross took exception to a high, inside pitch while attempting a sacrifice bunt.

“I don’t really understand where it’s coming from and his point of view. I’m trying to throw the ball over the plate and take the out because if you’re giving it to me in a sac-bunt situation, I want the out every time,” Norris said.

Norris said he replied “excuse me?” Then Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters took over the conversation from there, standing squarely between Ross and the mound before both managers intervened by grabbing their own catcher and getting him out of there.

“Wietie knew what was going on and he stood right in front of him, which was great. That gave me an opportunity to calm down, get back on the mound and pitch from there,” Norris said.

Norris ended up striking out Ross, but Brock Holt followed with a tiebreaking triple to right-center, then scored on a sacrifice bunt for all the offense Boston needed.

“He hit a first-pitch fastball that I thought was a good pitch,” Norris said.

One night after scoring eight runs on 15 hits, the Orioles’ offense stalled - again with Norris on the mound. Norris pitched seven shutout innings against Toronto in his last start, but ended up with a no decision when the bullpen couldn’t hold on to a 2-1 lead.

“He was good. He deserved a better fate,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “We just weren’t able to do a lot offensively.”

David Ortiz had a solo homer and two hits for the World Series champion Red Sox, who have won three of four.

Nelson Cruz had a pair of run-scoring singles for the Orioles, who had a three-game winning streak halted.

Baltimore benefited from a challenge that overturned a call at first on what would have been Cruz’s inning-ending grounder in the sixth.

Junichi Tazawa (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings of relief. Koji Uehara struck out three after a leadoff walk for his fourth save.

Holt tripled into the right-center field gap in the seventh after Mike Carp drew a leadoff walk from Norris. Jonathan Herrara then dropped down a suicide-squeeze bunt after fouling off his first attempt.

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