The Astros needed a stronger outing from the anchor of their starting rotation on Tuesday night, and Bud Norris delivered.
Even though Norris left with a 3-1 lead after five innings, it still wasn’t a quality start, but it was definitely an improvement from his last outing at Oakland where he gave up six runs on five hits and three walks in 2/3 of an inning.
“Obviously, the start in Oakland didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but that’s baseball,” Norris said. “I put in all my work and I knew I was going to go out there and do my job.”
Norris allowed one run on eight hits and two walks while striking out two. Besides retiring the side in the fourth, he got into trouble in every other inning as the Mariners scattered hits. Norris admitted it wasn’t his best night.
“A lot of stuff kind of fell in, but you got to keep grinding and making the next pitch,” Norris said. “I definitely didn’t have my best stuff by any means, but I battled and got through five and gave this team an opportunity to win and we did. So that was huge and I’m very happy with the results.”
Then the bullpen came up big. Travis Blackley, who made his debut Saturday after coming off the disabled list, retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a leadoff home run in the eighth. Then Hector Ambriz closed out the inning by sitting down all three batters he faced, including two strikeouts. Jose Veras also struck out two as he closed out the game by retiring all three hitters in the ninth.
And the offense gave Norris just enough run support for the win, scoring three runs within the first three innings.
“The bullpen really picked me up, and the guys put some runs on the board,” Norris said. “It’s a big win for us, and hopefully go out and win the series tomorrow.”