Adam Jones followed with an infield single up the middle, but Pearce was thrown out at the plate after Gordon Beckman made a nice diving play behind second base and threw to catcher Tyler Flowers in time to get a sliding Pearce.
But the Orioles would add another run in the sixth on Cruz’s 32nd homer of the season, when Sale left a 1-2 slider over the plate and Cruz sent it over the White Sox bullpen beyond the left-field fence.
Norris faced the minimum number of batters through six innings. He allowed a one-out single in the third to Jordan Danks but catcher Caleb Joseph threw out Danks attempting to steal second.
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“It wasn’t a bunch of strikeouts,” Norris said. “They were definitely hitting the ball and hitting it right at guys. It definitely helps when you’re getting out right at guys. … You’re trying to get guys out as quick as you can with the least amount of pitches you can, and it was just a good day.”
But Norris opened the seventh inning by hitting White Sox leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza on the right arm. Alexei Ramirez followed with a double down the right-field line to put two runners in scoring position.
Norris almost got out of the inning unscathed, but Avisail Garcia’s two-out single scored two runs to cut the lead to 3-2.
Gillaspie then took a 1-1 pitch deep to right field, where Markakis made a leaping catch on the run against the wall, extending his glove over the top of the fence and taking away a home run.
“I thought I had a shot at it the whole way,” Markakis said. “Just positioned myself where I thought the ball was going to land. I was going after it, doing everything I can to catch it, especially with the situation in the game. The way Bud was pitching, you have to do everything to catch the ball.”
Said Norris: “That changes the game right there. They would have taken the lead, changed completely the game.”
The Orioles responded in the top of the eighth, scoring all five runs with two outs in the inning. With the bases loaded, second baseman Jonathan Schoop hit a bases-clearing double that one-hopped off the left-center field fence.
Markakis then followed with a line-drive, two-run shot into the right-field seats to give the Orioles an 8-2 lead.
Norris (11-7) picked up his career-high 11th win. He held the White Sox to (59-66) to two runs and three hits, while striking out five batters and walking none. It marked the 11th time in 20 starts this season that he has allowed two runs or fewer. In their past 15 road games, the Orioles rotation is 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA.
Showalter said he considered bringing Norris back out for the eighth inning -- he had thrown just 82 pitches through seven innings -- but instead went to right-hander Brad Brach, who closed out the win with two scoreless innings.
“It definitely crept in there, which is fine, but I’m just really trying to attack the strike zone and get one pitch at a time and get outs,” Norris said. “My mentality this year and last year, too, is really one pitch at a time. It’s really all you can control. … I know the pitch count means a lot to you guys, but it’s more about how I feel, and Buck made the decision and I’m OK with it.”