Norris leaves start with injury

Daniel Norris’ latest test for the fifth spot in the Tigers rotation ended in the first inning, when he left Tuesday’s start against the Blue Jays with an injury.

Norris pitched Tuesday because he was scratched from his previously scheduled start Saturday with lower back stiffness. He struggled through a 25-pitch opening inning against his old club, including a nine-game battle with Jose Bautista that ended in a walk ahead of Troy Tulowitzki’s three-run home run.

Norris gave up a Chris Colabello double after Tulowitzki’s homer, then threw back-to-back fastballs up to Justin Smoak. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and manager Brad Ausmus walked out to check on Norris, eventually pulled from the game.

Norris walked gingerly with Rand straight to the Tigers clubhouse in the right-field corner.

Norris, acquired from Toronto in the David Price trade last July, is competing with Shane Greene and Matt Boyd for a spot in Detroit’s rotation. While his repertoire has shown glimpses of last year’s form, his results have been inconsistent. With Tuesday’s three runs against one out recorded, Norris has given up seven runs on 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Before Tuesday’s game, Ausmus noted the importance of the start.

“We definitely need to see a step forward,” Ausmus said Tuesday morning.


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I previously said I was waffling about the Tigers starting pitching. I continue to waffle. JV looks like he might again be the real deal . But as far as the rest of the rotation is concerned, who knows? Sanchez has sucked for 2 years and comes out throwing like he is again the ERA champ. Pelfrey has been horrible for 4 years and throws great, then lets up 9 runs in 5 innings today against MiLB players and looks once more like a has-been. JZ has been both good and bad, but I never expected him to be an ACE like Price or Max. And then, Norris. Great stuff, especially when you consider he is still a baby. But, he has a back problem, and so do I. His numbers have suffered and he is probably as good now as I am at this point. At least that’s what my mates on the Jays have to say.

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