9/15/2013 6:00 P.M. ET
O's struggling with runners in scoring position
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
TORONTO -- After getting four hits with runners in scoring position in Friday's win, the Orioles players requested to wear their black jerseys again on Saturday. It went up through the channels and got approved, but the luck didn't continue with the O's going 2-for-11 and missing out on a chance to gain ground in the AL Wild Card race in a 4-3 loss to Toronto.
"You're assuming we don't [talk about it]. We have advanced meetings every day," manager Buck Showalter said of the possibility of addressing his club's timely hitting as a group. "After a while, you just can't continue to beat a dead horse. You have an opportunity every day. It's hard to explain to those who aren't exposed to that arena every day. It's real easy from a distance, it's real hard up close."
Showalter, whose club went 13-for-63 (.206) with runners in scoring position on their most recent eight-game homestand, is used to the daily questions about his offense. He pointed across the field at Toronto's dugout prior to Sunday's game and said, "You don't think they'd sign up for our problems?"
The Orioles entered the day ranked fifth in batting average with runners in scoring position, at .268, but it has become a glaring issue at a pivotal point of the season. Over their last 21 games, the O's are batting .221 (36-for-163) with runners in scoring position and have a 9-12 record in that span.
"It's not like all year we've been bad. Comparatively speaking in the Major Leagues, we're close to the top," Showalter said. "But I know it's, 'What have you done for me lately?' I, as a manager, can't live in that world. You will lose guys in a heartbeat in that 'What have you done for me lately world.' It doesn't mean there's not a sense of urgency with it. It's not 'OK, sera, sera.'"
Norris throws, feels healthy enough for bullpen session
TORONTO -- Orioles starter Bud Norris threw on Sunday and was pleased with his progress in dealing with some nagging right elbow tightness, and the plan for him is to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
"Yeah, it's not terrible," Norris said of his elbow, which forced him to skip a start after it flared up during Wednesday's work day. "It's something where a couple days off, I feel a lot better. And I'm pleased with the results."
Norris still felt some of the tightness on Sunday, but it was improved enough for him to view the throwing session as a step in the right direction. If all goes well on Tuesday, manager Buck Showalter could pencil him in to start Friday or Saturday against Tampa Bay.
"Especially where we are in the playoff race and everything, I want to be on the field," said Norris, who is 4-2 with a 4.67 ERA since joining the Orioles from Houston in a Trade Deadline deal. "You are going to fight through a lot of stuff, these guys are too. So I understand where I'm at and I definitely want to get back out there when I'm ready."
X-rays negative after McLouth exits on HBP
TORONTO -- Nate McLouth exited Sunday's game in the ninth inning after being struck by a pitch in the right knee by Toronto reliever Kyle Drabek, and an X-ray taken after the Orioles' 3-1 win came back negative.
"Nate is fine," manager Buck Showalter said. "We would have left him in, but we liked the matchup of stealing second there. I wanted to take a pop at it, or else he would have continued. I think he will be fine."
Drabek's 0-1, 94-mph fastball caught the side of McLouth's knee and he was in immediate pain, bending over as Showalter and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells went out to the field. McLouth walked gingerly to first base after several minutes, and he was replaced by Chris Dickerson after getting to the bag.
McLouth had replaced Michael Morse on defense in the bottom of the sixth and expected to be an available player for Tuesday's series opener against the Red Sox.
"I can play with a little bit of a sore knee," McLouth said. "I'll be fine."
Gonzalez day to day with right groin strain
TORONTO -- Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez exited after 5 1/3 innings with a right groin strain in Sunday afternoon's game against the Blue Jays and is considered day to day.
"I would say he's in jeopardy of missing a start," manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who grimaced after striking out Adam Lind to start the sixth, and was replaced by rookie righty Kevin Gausman. "We'll see how the next couple of days go. ... He said he felt it a little bit two pitches before. ... That's all I got from him out there."
Gonzalez has pitched to a 3.92 ERA in 26 starts and held Toronto to one run -- a solo homer from Lind -- on six hits and no walks. He also struck out two in the 86-pitch outing and said he first felt the groin issue a few pitches earlier while facing Lind.
"I thought I was feeling pretty good but it tightened up a little bit, so I thought, 'You know what? Better to get out and get ready for the next one,'" said Gonzalez, who was optimistic he would remain on turn.
"First time I've ever felt [any injury in that area]. So hopefully we can treat it and get better for my next start."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.