Happy Easter, Camden Chatters. Today, the Orioles spent their holiday in Toronto with The Easter Bundy — excuse the terrible pun — toeing the rubber to battle the Blue Jays in the final game of this series. Below, the Sunday edition of the winning details for your 8-3, AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles.
Both starters worked impressive games, working out of first-inning jams to cruise in the early innings. Both teams had runners in scoring position in the first, but both Bundy and J.A. Happ settled down to keep the action to a minimum early.
Just as it appeared the Blue Jays would strike in the first, Bundy worked to keep Toronto off the board. With runners on first and third and nobody away, he fanned Jose Bautista and got Kendrys Morales to ground into a 4-6-3 DP. What could’ve been the start of a rough outing turned into be a catalyst of sorts for an impressive day.
The heart of the Orioles lineup had their first golden opportunity in the third. After Craig Gentry notched his first hit of the year to center, Adam Jones reached on a throwing error, giving Manny Machado and Trumbo the opportunity to knock in the game's first runs. But Happ retired both, and the scoreless game continued.
Things got weird in the top of the fifth. With the game still scoreless, J.J. Hardy laced a ground-rule double to kick off the frame. And with a runner on second with one out and Jones up, Happ pulled up after the first pitch of the AB. It was unclear exactly what the injury was, but John Gibbons quickly took the field and exited with Happ and the trainer, ending his day.
It was later confirmed that Happ ultimately exited the game with left elbow soreness. Joe Biagini would come in after an extended delay, leading to the Birds' first run of the afternoon.
Jones shot a fastball into right field, scoring Hardy from second to end the streak of donuts on the scoreboard. #10 would be caught up on the base paths for the inning's second out, but Happ's run scored to make it 1-0 O's. That's all the damage that would be done, but it was good enough to give the Easter Bundy the lead.
Speaking of the team's current ace, he continued to rock and roll with a shutdown fifth inning. With his fastball up to the mid 90s throughout the afternoon, he racked up a pair of punch-outs, Russell Martin and Steve Pearce, to keep the lead in tact and qualify for the win.
Gibbons called in Ryan Tepera to work the sixth, a move that turned out to be rather profitable... for the visitors, that is. After Trumbo ripped a 1-1 fastball to center for a single, Tepera walked Davis to present the game's golden opportunity to the lower half of the lineup.
Remember that Mancini guy? He did more Mancini things in this inning.
With two on and one out, Boom-Boom hit an absolute rocket to left, within reach of nobody on the diamond. According to the advanced metrics, it was a 404-foot shot with an exit velocity over 108 miles per hour. His third dinger of the season put the O's up 4-0 and further established that he's a full-season big leaguer, and a pretty impressive one at that.
With a four run lead, the sixth-inning party wasn't done.
Following a Jonathan Schoop single, Hardy knocked his second double of the game with a shot down the line. Schoop scored after getting an impressive jump, making it 5-0. And with Hardy on third after a wild pitch, the best small-ball player in the baseball world (perhaps that's an exaggeration) cracked a sacrifice to Kevin Pillar in center to notch an RBI — 6-0 Orioles.
This was a day in which, at least in this writer's opinion, Bundy established that he's here to stay and emerge as a potential candidate to eventually become a top-10 pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Everything was working according to plan, with the 24-year-old consistently working everything in his arsenal and striking out six (twice against Bautista, for those who might enjoy that sort of thing).
Bundy's final line was one of beauty: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K.
The game was all but over when Stefan Crichton allowed a run in the seventh, but Buck Showalter's "guys" didn't seem to want to leave Canada without hitting the Jays faithful in the gut with one last punch in the eighth inning. Most definitely, putting up a five spot in the top of the inning did just that.
Mancini led off the inning with a blast to straight-away centerfield, a hard-hit fly ball that ended up being just the second-most impressive knock of the inning. With one on, Gentry absolutely crushed a first-pitch fastball to left field. It easily reached the second deck, giving him his first HR of the year and the O's a 9-1 lead.
For what it's worth, I have a feeling Showalter will keep that blast in his mind for quite a bit. If Gentry can effectively put together all facets of his game, he's going to be a season-long asset.
Also, in case you forgot, that Manny Machado guy is pretty impressive too. Two batters later, he laced what appeared to be a double down the line that turned out to have quite a bit of zip on it off the bat. It barely cleared the fence in right, elevating the lead to 11-1 and clearing the stands.
How's that for an offensive outbreak?
The news that warrants watching moving forward is the condition of Adam Jones, who crashed into the outfield wall with a good bit of force in the eighth inning. He stayed in the game after a meeting with Richie Bancells, but it was quite the impact.
Crichton allowed another run in the eighth, but the bullpen couldn't find a way to undo the damage done by the lethal offensive performance. They would limp to the finish in the ninth with Vidal Nuño surrendering a two-run home run, but the win was plenty locked in.
The Orioles, at 8-3 on the year, now head to Cincinnati for a three-game set before returning home for a weekend series against the Red Sox.
- Dylan Bundy now has a 1.86 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 19.1 IP and just three walks. He pitched a gem in this one, and appears primed to put together a rather impressive 2017 season.
- Jonathan Schoop tacked on two hits today in a 2-5. He's hitting .289 on the year.
- Trey Mancini is on a roll. His 3-5 with 4 RBI puts his season average at .364 with four hone runs. He's making his case to be an every-day lineup piece
Who was the Most Birdland Player on Easter Sunday, April 16th?
This poll is closed
Dylan Bundy (6 IP, 0 ER)
Trey Mancini (3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI)