Orioles move struggling Bud Norris to the bullpen

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Orioles right-hander Bud Norris has pitched almost exclusively as a starter in the majors, but his season-long struggles have him headed to the bullpen.

According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made it official today that Kevin Gausman will start Tuesday against the Twins. This pushes Norris into a long relief role.

Norris had a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts last season and made two starts during the postseason, but he has struggled to the tune of a 6.79 ERA over 11 starts this season. His strikeouts (6.3 K/9) are down and his walks (3.1 BB/9) are up, but the big issue has been the home run ball, as he has already allowed 11 of them in just 55 2/3 innings. The Orioles have eyes on another postseason berth, so they couldn’t afford to keep him in the rotation any longer.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).