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Norris feeling better, will start at Bowie Wednesday

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Norris feeling better, will start at Bowie Wednesday

BALTIMORE – Bud Norris will start on Wednesday in Erie in his second rehab game. Norris had a bad outing on Friday in Norfolk when he allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings, but he says he’s feeling much better after a bout with bronchitis.

Manager Buck Showalter said he considered Norris as a candidate to pitch in one of the games in Thursday’s doubleheader against Chicago, but decided against it.

“I'm feeling better. I'm getting there. I didn't know how much it took out of me. I'm glad Buck did what he did and I'm glad I got one under my belt and I've got one more to go. I'm really excited just to get my weight back on my body and kind of get through all of this,” Norris said on Monday.

Norris had a tough time Friday, but said he was weak.

“I went down to the bullpen and started to warm up and felt great in the 'pen and by the time I pitched the first inning I could feel my legs kind of giving out. As much as I do squatting and running and all that good stuff, missing as much time as I did, my body definitely took a toll. Losing as much weight as I did, I never had anything happen to me like that before. I'm excited to put it back on and take care of my body,” Norris said.

Norris first felt sick in New York on May 9, struggled through a five inning start the next day, and after feeling better had a relapse on May 14.

"I didn't know how much my body went through, but that Saturday, Sunday and Monday I basically slept all day. Every time I got out of bed for 20, 30 minutes, I got so weak I had to get back in bed. My parents came into town and stayed a couple nights with me, which was extremely helpful. I got some homemade chicken noodle soup from my mom, which I was really excited about, actually. But like I said, I didn't know how it was going to take a toll on me. It did. It took its course and I'm definitely learning from it,” Norris said.

"I lost about 14 pounds at the time. I got down as low as like 204 and my playing weight's around 215, 220. In my Houston years it was 225. I'm probably back to about 212. I went into camp in a little bit better shape this year. I thought I was in the best shape of my life, but weight's something I've got to monitor through the course of the season."

Even though he’s on the disabled list, Norris says that he’s still found time to follow his favorite NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, and their 3-0 lead over Houston in the Western Conference finals has him feeling better.

“Yeah, absolutely. If they sweep in four, that’s going to be even a better sign,” Norris said.

NOTES: Matt Wieters will catch Dylan Bundy in Bowie when the Baysox play Erie at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be Wieters’ first rehab game. … Kevin Gausman (shoulder tendinitis) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday. He’ll throw to hitters on Friday and throw a side session on Sunday. On June 2, the plan is for him to throw a simulated game in Houston, and after that, the Orioles will decide on his next move. … Ryan Flaherty (right groin) will play for Norfolk today and Tuesday. … Tyler Wilson will pitch briefly in the Tides’ game today because he’s a candidate to start one of the games on Thursday. Mike Wright will pitch the other.

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.