Mar 20, 2013 7:31 PM by Andrew Masuda

Houston Astros tab former Mustang Norris as Opening Day starter

Houston Astros Bo Porter named former Cal Poly star Bud Norris his opening day starter. The right hander will make his first career season opening start on March 31 at home against the Texas Rangers in the team's first game since joining the American League.

Norris was 7-13 last year, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. He posted a 4.65 ERA in 29 starts. He struck out 165 in 168 2/3 innings pitched.

The former Mustang is 2-0 with a 5.52 ERA in four spring training starts.

"I'm very honored," Norris said. "It's something I've been working for my whole career, something everyone works for their whole career. It's a childhood dream to have an Opening Day game like that. I know Lucas had a great spring and he can pitch. It was either/or. I wasn't mad if he got it or whatnot. I'm excited to go out there and give this team every opportunity to go out there and win, and very excited to do it in Houston on a nationally televised game."

The 28 year old Norris is the team's longest tenured starter and has excelled at home. By starting the season opener, he could get three extra home starts if he pitches every five days.

Norris went 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA and held opponents to a .199 batting average in 11 starts at Minute Maid Park last year while going 3-12 with a 6.94 ERA and .293 average against in 18 road starts.

Since making his MLB debut in 2009, Norris has started 97 games for the Astros. He is 28-37 with a 4.42 ERA. He has struck out 552 hitters in 563 2/3 innings pitched.



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