It was somewhere in the third or fourth inning when Orioles starter Bud Norris allowed himself to take a quick glance into the visiting dugout, and the oddity of seeing players and coaches he was alongside two days ago was overwhelming enough for the 28-year-old to quickly look away.
"I said, 'Let's not do that again,'" Norris said. "I just stayed on the glove and really just wanted to keep pounding the strike zone."
Mission accomplished. Norris' swan song to his former club, which coincided with the Orioles' offense finally coming alive, provided an encouraging display on Thursday night as the right-hander fired six quality innings in a 6-3 win over the Astros.
One day after being acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Norris held Houston to four hits and the O's backed their newest pitcher with a superb effort -- highlighted by Chris Davis' 39th homer and 100th RBI -- to win the rubber game in front of 17,909 at Camden Yards.
"I've been working a long time in my career to be in a postseason and a pennant race and this is exactly what it is," Norris said. "To be thrown in the fire and to go out there and to be able to control myself and my emotions was pretty special. A lot of breathing, a lot of stepping off the mound and just taking my time. But at the same token, it was very special and I'm very happy with the win."
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