It was the first time Norris has allowed more than two runs in an outing for the Orioles — and he wasn't happy about it. After he walked off the mound in the sixth, he slammed his glove on the bench in a show of frustration.

“I think it's just the competitor in me saying, ‘I had two quick outs in the inning and nobody on,'” he said. “I want to finish the inning. If I get through six, I give the bullpen a fresh inning. I want to clean up my mess.”

Things could have been worse for Norris and the Orioles. But Josh Stinson, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, entered in the sixth with two outs and two on and struck out Rockies slugger Tulowitzki.

Stinson hadn't pitched for the Orioles since losing his club debut April 24, a game in which he started and allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Stinson was much better Saturday, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

“Josh ain't scared. He comes in and he lets it rip,” Showalter said. “He came right after them. We needed that after we kind of messed around with the hitter before him.”

The story of the night, though, was the Orioles offense.

Every starter but Wieters reached base safely. Not bad for a lineup that had to be shuffled slightly an hour before the game when J.J. Hardy was scratched because of back spasms. Pearce replaced Hardy, who is considered day-to-day, in the lineup, and Ryan Flaherty moved from designated hitter to shortstop.

Ultimately, the Orioles would have liked to have been better with runners in scoring position Saturday — they were 5-for-14 in those situations. And they would have liked to have had their starter go deeper, so four relievers wouldn't have been needed in what could have been a blowout.

But a seven-run inning has a way of masking other deficiencies. And, for a night, the Orioles will take that — and a much-needed win.

“I don't think that we're in a real bad spot. You know, we've got a lot of games against our division left and we just want to stay right where we are and give ourselves a chance these last 40 games,” Roberts said. “This isn't the time of year to lose 10 in a row, but you're not going to. This isn't also the time of year that a lot of teams go run off and win 10 in a row. It's a matter of just trying to stay consistent, and I think we're going to be fine.”

dan.connolly@baltsun.com