Bundy continues to impress
It was far from his best outing as a starter, but right hander Dylan Bundy completed another big hurdle as he continues to learn on the job. On Friday night, Bundy did not have his most crisp "stuff". But he worked through it and did enough to earn the win.
Although he had some trouble throughout the evening, the lone blemish on Bundy’s game came in the third inning. Joe Panik led off with a single and scored two batters later on a Denard Span double to right field. Angel Pagan come within inches of a two-run homer into McCovey Cove, but the ball sailed wide right of the foul pole. Instead, he walked and then Brandon Belt grounded into a double play to get Bundy out of the jam.
Other than that that one frame, it was a relatively quiet night for Bundy. His final line: 5.2 innings, one run, three hits, two walks and three strikeouts, and he did so with just 92 pitches thrown.
Dylan Bundy's ERA over his last 3 starts is 1.45. #Orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) August 13, 2016
Just enough offense
The Baltimore bats made somewhat of a return on Thursday evening and appeared poised to perform on Friday early on in the game against Giants starter Matt Cain.
In the top of the second inning, Jonathan Schoop smacked a one-out double to left field and then scored moments later on a Matt Wieters double. A few batters later Adam Jones singled to drive in Wieters and give the O’s a 2-0 lead.
The next inning, Manny Machado led off with single and then scored on a mammoth Mark Trumbo home run to left field, doubling the Baltimore advantage, 4-0.
In the fourth inning, the O’s should have increased their lead, but poor base-running killed their rally. Jones’ walk and Hyun Soo Kim’s double gave the Birds two runners in scoring position with one out. Machado singled up the middle but it hit the pitcher and kicked towards Brandon Belt at first base. Jones stayed put at third by Kim began running anyway and ended up caught in a run down and was eventually thrown out. What should have been bases loaded and one out ended up as two runners on and two outs. Trumbo then struck out to end the frame.
Slugger Chris Davis put an exclamation point on the evening, however, in the top of the fifth inning with a solo shot that just scraped over the wall in left field to make the score 5-1 at the time. That’s right, he went the opposite way. Shocking stuff, really.
Brach-y relief appearance
Manager Buck Showalter needed to use four pitchers to get through the final 3.1 innings of the game. Three of them did a great job, but Brad Brach did not.
It was Mychal Givens turn first and he was great, finishing the six inning and then two outs of the seventh inning in flawless fashion. His line: 1.0 innings, two strikeouts, no walks, no hits.
Then southpaw Donnie Hart made a return to the MLB and picked up where he left off as he managed to force one line out and then three ground outs to get all four hitters he faced in his 1.1 inning out.
Up by four runs, Showalter gave the ninth inning to the all-star Brach, but he didn’t have "it" tonight. Pagan led off with a single and then a wild pitch moved him to second base. A Belt single scored Pagan to make it a three-run game and proved to be the end for Brad. It was a short leash, but he did little to prove he deserved much more in that moment.
On came Zach Britton and he looked nasty as could be, striking out Buster Posey, getting Brandon Crawford to ground out and striking out Hunter Pence in order to seal the win for the visiting O’s for his 36th save of the summer.
It could be a tough one for the O’s offense. The Giants are trotting out left-handed stud Madison Bumgarner (10-7, 2.20 ERA). He will be opposed by righty fireballer Kevin Gausman (3-9, 4.02). That guy just has no luck this season. First pitch is just after 9 p.m. on the east coast.
Around the League
Boston beat Arizona at Fenway Part by a score of 9-4 to remain within striking distance of the division crown.
#Orioles are back in first place in the AL East, taking a 1/2-game lead over Toronto after a 5-2 win in SF. Britton with his 36th save.— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) August 13, 2016
And the best news is that the Blues Jay dropped their game 5-3 to Houston, meaning that the Birds are back in sole possession of first place in the American League East by half of a game. Happy Friday! Now go to bed.