Matt Wieters isn’t playing like someone who was sidelined for more than a year.
The All-Star catcher hit his first home run since May 1, 2014, and Bud Norris won in his return from the disabled list as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 Sunday.
“It feels good to put good swings on balls,” said Wieters, who also tripled in the fifth. “It’s always nice at the beginning of the year, for me this is the beginning of the year, to get all those zeros off the categories. Hopefully I’ll get another home run before I get another triple.”
Adam Jones also went deep to help the Orioles take two of three in the series. They have won three of four after losing five in a row.
Wieters, who returned Friday from Tommy John surgery last season, connected in the ninth and was 5 for 12 with three RBIs in the series.
“I’ve played seven years with the man,” Jones said. “It’s good to see him back hitting behind me.”
The Orioles are getting healthier, with Wieters returning and Norris finally shaking off a bout with bronchitis that caused him to miss a month and lose 15 pounds.
Norris (2-4) allowed one run and struck out seven in five innings to win for the first time since April 26. The right-hander was 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts last season.
“I know I’m a good pitcher and I know I can do this for a long time,” Norris said. “I want to get back out there and help my team win.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows the 2014 version of Norris would make a big difference for his team.
“We knew at some point it’s going to get here,” Showalter said. “This isn’t some computer-driven, robotic thing. This is hard to do. It’s been a long road back for him. He could mean a lot to us.”
Norris allowed a run in the fourth. David Murphy doubled and scored on Brandon Moss’ double. Norris hit Nick Swisher with a pitch but retired the next three hitters.
Norris, who entered with a 9.98 ERA, made his first start since May 10. The right-hander went on the DL the following day.
Jones homered with two outs in the first. Manny Machado and Travis Snider had RBIs in a three-run fourth.
Carlos Carrasco (7-5) allowed five runs in four-plus innings, and the Indians (27-29) failed to reach .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on April 10.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today and had to use my slider more,” Carrasco said. “They saw that and got a lot of hits.”
The right-hander retired the first two hitters in the fourth before Baltimore loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Machado’s infield hit made it 2-0. Snider blooped a single to center for two more runs.
Carrasco started the fifth, but manager Terry Francona and a trainer went to the mound after the third pitch to Wieters. Carrasco remained in the game, but was removed after Wieters tripled.
“Pretty much the whole day he didn’t seem to have good stuff,” Francona said. “His secondary pitches didn’t have the bite, and his delivery didn’t seem to have that normal energy. It was a fight the whole way.”
TAKE A BREAK
The Orioles are off Monday after playing 21 games in 20 days.
“They make the schedule, we just play it,” Jones said. “I found out yesterday we’ve got a day off tomorrow. Didn’t even know.”
Orioles: 2B Jonathan Schoop (sprained right knee) is working out at the team’s spring training complex in Sarasota, Florida.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley was given the day off. He’s been dealing with a sore back since spring training. The Indians don’t play Monday and Francona wanted to give Brantley two days off in a row.
Orioles: Baltimore opens a three-game series at Camden Yards against Boston on Tuesday. RHP Miguel Gonzalez will face the Red Sox in the opener.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber will pitch Tuesday against Seattle after Monday’s day off. He struck out 13 in seven innings in a 5-3 win at Safeco Field on May 28.