BALTIMORE – Bud Norris pitched six shutout innings, Nelson Cruz notched his career-high 91st RBI during a four-run first, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Tuesday night.
Jonathan Schoop homered for the Orioles, who extended their lead in the AL East to a season-high 9 1/2 games. Baltimore endured two rain delays totaling more two hours and withstood an eighth-inning grand slam by Jay Bruce to notch its seventh win in nine games.
Norris (12-8) allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He was 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA in his previous seven starts against Cincinnati.
Bruce’s third career slam, off Darren O’Day, got the Reds to 5-4.
In the Cincinnati ninth, Ramon Santiago doubled off Zach Britton with one out and took third on an infield hit by Billy Hamilton. Britton then got Todd Frazier to hit into a double play to secure his 32nd save.
The game didn’t finally end, however, until after a review of the final play.
Following a lengthy delay in the first inning, Cincinnati’s Mat Latos threw his first pitch nearly 2 1/2 hours after the scheduled start. Cruz, Chris Davis and Caleb Joseph hit RBI singles around a run-scoring groundout to provide the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
Schoop led off the second with his 13th home run for a five-run cushion.
Latos (5-4) yielded five runs and a season-high 10 hits over five innings in his first loss since July 27.
Cincinnati has dropped 14 of 20 and is 15-28 since the All-Star break.
After the start of the game was delayed for 23 minutes, the first play left three people on the ground. Billy Hamilton hit a liner off Norris’ leg, and the ball ricocheted toward first base. Norris dived on it and threw to first, too late, and Hamilton ran into umpire Mike DiMuro. Hamilton recovered from the collision but DiMuro left with an unspecified injury.
Hamilton then stole second, setting a Reds rookie record with 55 for the season, before another rain shower stopped play for 1 hour, 46 minutes.