Which Dylan Bundy would we get in this game? Would the home run rear its ugly head against him yet again? We could use some hope as the season winds down, especially where Bundy is concerned, seeing as the right-hander was carrying a 5.48 ERA with 38 home runs allowed in 28 starts coming into tonight.
The first inning went well, with Bundy needing only nine pitches to retire the side in order on a pair of fly outs and a strikeout. He would need only 34 pitches to get through the first three innings, allowing two hits and two strikeouts over that time span.
The O’s lineup leaned heavily to the young side tonight, with Steve Wilkerson starting at third, Cedric Mullins in center and D.J. Stewart in left.
Mullins started the night off right, hitting a home run to right center field to lead off the bottom of the first. It was his first career leadoff home run at Camden Yards and fourth home run of the year.
D.J. Stewart showed off his batting eye in the bottom of the second, working a two out walk on five pitches. But he ended that at-bat still in search of his first major league hit. The rookie came into the game hitless in his first 14 plate appearances with the O’s.
Jonathan Villar, who’s hitting .305/.349/.508 in September, worked a walk with two outs in the third after grounding out to short in his first at-bat. Coming into the game, Villar had 14 steals in 16 chances with the O’s. And he successfully stole second with Adam Jones at the plate in the third. But a ground out to third base one pitch later ended the inning.
Blue Jays shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led of the fourth with a single to center field, bringing Justin Smoak to the plate, who had a .357 batting average in 14 career at-bats versus Bundy coming into the game. But the O’s right-hander won this battle, striking out Smoak on an 80 mph changeup.
After that, Joseph threw out Gurriel Jr. trying to steal second and the bases were wiped clean with two outs in the inning. Then Bundy set down Randal Grichuk swinging for his fourth strikeout of the night.
Trey Mancini led off the fourth with a triple, pulling his hands in to yank a fastball to left that caromed off the base of the wall. The next batter, Chris Davis, was hit by a pitch and there were runners on the corners and no outs. Breyvic Valera hit a fly ball to center — which wasn’t deep — and Mancini was thrown out at home trying to tag up. But the call was reversed and the Orioles had a 2-0 lead.
Stewart came up to the plate next and with the count even at 2-2, he laced a ground ball single past the second baseman and into right field for his first big league hit. On top of that, the Jays committed back-to-back throwing errors that allowed Chris Davis to score safely and also allowed Stewart himself to score. 4-0, Orioles.
Bundy allowed Toronto’s first run on back-to-back doubles in the fifth, but he was able to limit the damage to just that one run. After five innings, his pitch count stood at 57 with the score 4-1, Orioles.
In the sixth inning, the Jays scratched across another run after a single, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and an RBI groundout. But once again, Bundy was able to minimize the runs. 4-2, Orioles.
D.J. Stewart had another first in the bottom of the sixth inning, reaching base when he was hit by a pitch and then swiping second for his first big league steal. But he would be stranded at second when the inning ended.
Bundy got bounced from the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the bases loaded. He allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning, got a pair of outs, and then walked a batter. That’s when Buck trotted out to the mound and removed Bundy.
Paul Fry came on to try and get the O’s out of the bases loaded jam. But on a routine ground ball to third, Steve Wilkerson bounced a throw to first that Mancini couldn’t handle, allowing two runners to score and allowing the inning to continue. Gurriel Jr. followed with a two-run single to center field and all of a sudden, Toronto had a 6-4 lead.
And that would be the final score of the game.
The pitching line for Bundy was not as good as it should have been — five runs allowed (two earned) over 6.2 innings on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. At least he didn’t allow any home runs.
Tomorrow night the Orioles will look to avoid a sweep when a starter to-be-announced will oppose the Blue Jays’ Marco Estrada.