It was a beautiful Tuesday night in Boston for critical postseason-push baseball. How did Dylan Bundy and the Orioles fare? Everything you need to know about the rivalry game with the Red Sox below.
Bundy began the game with an immediate jam, but his good friend Manny Machado utilized his rocket of an arm to get help him emerge from the inning with no runs allowed. Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with a double to the left-center gap, but Bundy’s craftiness allowed him to work out of the bind.
With two outs and Pedroia on second base, Mookie Betts hit a grounder to the right of Machado at third. In stride, Manny gobbled it up, set his feet and fired a strike to Chris Davis at first, keeping the game scoreless through the first frame.
In the half-inning immediately after, J.J. Hardy provided the O’s with a much-needed early crooked number against Drew Pomeranz. After the duo of Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis found their way on base to start the second, Hardy mashed an incredibly hard-hit ball above the green monster.
The long ball snuck over the wall, Hardy's ninth home run of the season to put the Birds up 3-0.
Unfortunately for Pomeranz, his nightmare inning wasn’t over. After Drew Stubbs drew (no pun intended) a walk, Nolan Reimold came to the plate and took the left-hander deep again over the Green Monstah’.
Just like that Dylan Bundy had a five-run lead on the road, in Fenway Park, in the midst of a critical September playoff push. How’s that for helping out your starter?
Bundy’s cage was rattled in a major way in the bottom of the second, battling pesky command issues. He walked three batters in the inning, two of them with the bases loaded. Both Pedroia and Ryan Hanigan walked with the bags full, cutting the Orioles lead to 5-2.
However, with two outs and the bases still full, "Bundy the Bulldog" (the nickname that seems apt) settled in and retired Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz.
After that, the two teams settled in and grinder away for the next few innings. Bundy found a groove and returned to his usual self, while Boston pulled Heath Hembree from the bullpen to enter and mow down Oriole hitters, sending the game to the fifth with a three-run lead for the Birds.
Bundy’s struggled crept up again in the fifth, as Bogaerts lined a 1-1 offering to left-center for a round-tripper. Bundy would work around an Ortiz double to get out of the inning, but not without laboring through his fifth inning of work. He finished the frame with 86 pitches.
As the offense continued to put up donuts against the next Boston reliever Joe Kelly, Bundy entered the sixth with one goal: keep the game within two runs for the bullpen.
The bad news? He walked Chris Young to lead off the inning.
The good news? He managed to get Jackie Bradley Jr. to fly out to center, left the game and let Tommy Hunter, on one pitch, induce a ground ball to end the inning.
That sent the game to the seventh, handing it over to the relievers for the battle of the bullpens.
Matt Barnes entered for Boston in the seventh, grinding through the middle of the Orioles lineup without allowing a run. Jonathan Schoop managed an infield single, but he couldn’t cross the dish, sending the game into the seventh-inning stretch with the 5-3 score.
In the bottom of the seventh with a runner on first, Hunter was given the hook for Donnie Hart to match up against David Ortiz. The two went deep into the count before Ortiz flew out to center, providing just the outcome that Buck Showalter was looking for — now, that’s the way to make your boss happy.
The Birds threatened in the eighth when Robbie Ross Jr. walked Hardy after a Matt Wieters hard-hit, wacky infield single, but Red Sox reliever Noe Ramirez saved the day (at the time) for Boston. Hyun-Soo Kim walked to load the bases, but Adam Jones whiffed at a changeup in the dirt to end the threat.
Another inning, another donut in the box score.
Luckily, after Brad Brach and Zach Britton combined for a scoreless eighth, the slump was broken in dramatic fashion by Jonathan Schoop, who absolutely crushed a home run to left field. His 24th of the year was a first-pitch no-doubter, boosting the lead to three runs for the best closer in baseball.
Need we recap any more?
Britton did his thing, and the Orioles crept a game closer to the AL East lead.
Tomorrow night at 7:10, these two teams are back at it in another giant divisional clash.