(Reuters) - The Baltimore Orioles, striving to make up ground in the competitive American League East division, made another move to bolster their starting pitching by swinging a trade deadline deal on Wednesday to acquire Houston Astros starter Bud Norris.
Baltimore (59-48), who earlier this month traded with the Chicago Cubs for right-handed starter Scott Feldman, sent outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, left-hander Josh Hader and a draft pick to the lowly Astros (35-70).
The 28-year-old Norris, 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts for Houston, was thrilled to be entering a pennant race with Baltimore, who stood five games out in the AL East.
"I really wanted to get an opportunity play in the postseason," Norris said. "You play in the big leagues to go out there to win, to be the best you can be.
"I'm really excited for the opportunity."
It was a relatively quiet end to Wednesday afternoon's deadline for non-waiver deals after Tuesday's three-way deal that involved American League division contenders Detroit and Boston and the fading Chicago White Sox.
The AL-Central leading Tigers (61-45) obtained promising infielder Jose Iglesias from Boston, protecting against the possible suspension of shortstop Jhonny Peralta stemming from Major League Baseball's probe into doping.
Boston (64-44), one-half game behind Tampa Bay in the East, welcomed aboard starting pitcher Jake Peavy from Chicago (40-64), who in return received prospects to aid in rebuilding, including young power hitter Avisail Garcia from Detroit.
The San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals also picked up established major leaguers.
San Diego obtained starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, 28, from the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, Class A pitcher Matt Stites and a draft pick.
Kennedy, who finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting in 2011, had struggled to a 3-8 record with a 5.23 earned run average this season.
"We're excited to add a starting pitcher of Ian's pedigree," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes. "He is under club control through 2015, and we feel he will help us take another step forward as a team."
Kansas City added outfielder Justin Maxwell in exchange for 20-year-old pitching prospect Kyle Smith.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Julian Linden