BALTIMORE — Bud Norris walked down the hall to his new team, the Orioles, and stepped right into the middle of a pennant race.
Norris was dealt from the Astros to Baltimore on Wednesday, a move that enables the Orioles to fortify a rotation that will be without injured former Rays RHP Jason Hammel for at least the next two weeks.
Baltimore sent OF L.J. Hoes and LH prospect Josh Hader to Houston for Norris, 28, a right-hander whose $3 million salary was the highest on a young roster.
"We've been trying to bolster our pitching staff, and in Bud Norris we have a pitcher that can give us some quality innings," said Dan Duquette, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. "He's been a very dependable pitcher for Houston over the course of his career."
The Astros and Orioles were in the middle of a three-game series as the non-waiver trade deadline expired. So Norris packed his gear and made his way a few hundred yards through the bowels of Camden Yards to the home clubhouse to begin the next chapter of his big-league career.
In the process, he left the team with the worst record in the majors to a club seeking a second straight trip to the playoffs.
"I'm excited for the future," Norris said. "I pitched my way into this situation to be traded and help out a team. This (Baltimore) team is a young club, they know how to contend. They had an amazing year last year. I just want to be any piece of the puzzle I can to help this team keep pushing to the World Series."
In his fifth season, Norris is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts, and he's under team control through 2015. He's scheduled to make his Orioles debut tonight against Houston.
"He's competitive, a strike-thrower. He has a nice approach," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's been healthy, and he competes. I like that fact that he gets after it."
Other deadline deals:
• The Diamondbacks sent struggling RHP Ian Kennedy to the Padres for LH reliever Joe Thatcher, minor-league RHP Matt Stites and a draft pick.
• The Royals acquired OF Justin Maxwell from the Astros for minor-league RHP Kyle Smith in an attempt to upgrade their depth for the stretch run.
• The Dodgers acquired backup C Drew Butera from the Twins for a player to be named.
• Late Tuesday, a three-team trade was completed that sent RHP Jake Peavy to the Red Sox. Boston sent slick-fielding SS Jose Iglesias to the Tigers, where he'll provide an insurance policy in case Jhonny Peralta is suspended as part of baseball's Biogenesis drug investigation. The Red Sox also got RH reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers, and Chicago received OF prospect Avisail Garcia from Detroit.
CARDS DL CATCHER: The Cardinals placed All-Star C Yadier Molina on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee sprain he has been dealing with for more than a month. OF Shane Robinson also went on the disabled list, and OF Adron Chambers and utility player Brock Peterson were recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
MVP OUT AGAIN: Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera was encouraged by his improved condition after missing his fifth game over the past week with a strained lower abdomen. "I feel better," Cabrera said. "Hopefully, we can get out of way this quick and try to be 100 percent Friday."
RIVERA CEREMONY: The Yankees will honor retiring closer Mariano Rivera with a ceremony Sept. 22 before their game against the Giants. Rivera, 43, is in his 19th season.
ANGELS: LH reliever Sean Burnett, on the disabled list since May 28, won't pitch again this season because of a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow.
ASTROS: LHP Erik Bedard was scratched from his scheduled start and replaced by LHP Brett Oberholtzer.
BREWERS: RHP Yovani Gallardo went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
ROCKIES: LF Carlos Gonzalez left in the first inning after aggravating his sprained right middle finger.