Gausman and Norris on their outings

Orioles starter Bud Norris pitched two scoreless innings in his first spring start, striking out two and allowing a hit and a walk. Norris, considered the leading candidate for the team’s fifth rotation spot, was pleased with how his first spring game with Baltimore went.

“It went really well,” he said. “It’s more about getting out there, getting back into competition and just feeling comfortable. I’ve been through a couple now, so this is a new one to me here in Sarasota, but just to get out there and play baseball again is what you like to do. I had good results, i felt really good and that’s obviously the goal is to leave here healthy.”

Norris said his emphasis was on fastball command, pounding the strike zone, and he’s been working with catcher Matt Wieters on establishing a little better tempo.

Minnesota got on the board first with a two-out single from Wilkin Ramirez, which scored two-out walk Chris Colabello in the third. Baltimore’s prized pitching prospect Kevin Gausman got out of the inning with no further damage as Jason Kubel was tagged out trying to advance to third on the play.

“I got 3-2 on him, and tried to do a little bit too much,” said Gausman, who retired the first five batters he faced in the 24-pitch, two-inning outing.

Gausman was clocked in the mid-90s pretty consistently, which was what he was at last spring as a rookie as well.

“It always takes me longer to get ready armwise. I started throwing the exact same day,” Gausman said of his preparation this winter. “I just tried to make sure I was ready coming into camp.”

“Last spring, I tried not to step on anyone’s feet or really do anything wrong. Now, I have a relationship with most of the guys on the team. I feel comfortable going to them and asking questions. Last year, I really didn’t know what to expect, schedulewise, what we were wearing… This year, I feel more comfortable.”

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