Less than 24 hours after optioning Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles now face a new question in their starting rotation after Bud Norris left Saturday’s 6-1 win in the sixth inning with right groin tightness.
The right-hander was lifted from the game as he warmed up for the bottom of the sixth after telling manager Buck Showalter that he was beginning to feel some discomfort in the previous inning. Norris held the New York Yankees to one earned run in five innings to improve his record to 7-5 on the season, and the Orioles hope he will still be able to make his next scheduled start on Friday.
“I’m hoping we caught it in time,” Showalter told reporters in New York following the game. “He felt it a little bit the inning before, and I just didn’t want to take a chance. He’s getting an extra day next time out. [He'll] probably pitch the night game of the split doubleheader. We’ve got other options, but I’m hoping we caught it in time and kept it from developing into something with the groin that obviously you don’t want long-term.”
Norris has been the club’s most consistent starter this season, pitching to a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts this season. He sports a 4-0 record in the month of June and has allowed only two earned runs in his last 19 2/3 innings of work.
Should Norris not be able to make his next start, the Orioles could simply move up Chris Tillman to start on Friday since he will be pitching on Sunday and would be on four days’ rest.
“It’s pretty sore right now,” Norris told reporters after the game. “I’m going to get in there and do a little more treatment and get another ice and [electronic stimulation] in. We get an extra day [off] this week, too, so you’ve really got to take your treatment in the next couple days and see how it’ll progress.”