That was it. That’s what the Orioles envisioned when they selected Dylan Bundy with the fourth over all pick in the 2011 draft. Bundy, who had not won a game in six starts this year, showed up in a big way for Baltimore Saturday night. The righty blanked the Rays through 7.1 innings, and propelled the Orioles to a 3-0 victory at Camden Yards.
Bundy located his fastball, had the secondary pitches working, and kept the Rays in check all night. He didn’t blow anyone away, but he walked only one batter while striking out four. Obviously the zero in the run column tells the story, but Bundy’s efficiency really stood out. He gave up just three hits, and worked into the eighth inning with only 96 pitches.
Jonathan Villar led off the bottom of the first with a double to center field. Villar moved over to third on a single to right by Trey Mancini. Dwight Smith Jr. bounced a tailor made double play ball to second, and Villar came around to score on the play. The grounder killed a chance for a larger rally, but the Orioles were on the board first. As it turned out, that’s all they would need.
Baltimore added another run in the third on a similar type of play. Stevie Wilkerson and Austin Wynns both singled to put runners on the corners for Villar. Villar bounced another ball to second, but beat out the throw to avoid the double play. Wilkerson scored, and the Birds had doubled their lead.
The Orioles picked up their first two runs on balls that didn’t leave the infield, but the third run came on a ball that left the yard. Smith blasted a towering home run to deep center field to give Baltimore its third run of the game. The solo shot left the bat at 107.4 MPH and traveled 429 feet. Smith now has six round-trippers on the season.
The Rays nearly got on the board in the eighth inning. Bundy allowed a one-out double to Michael Perez that chased him from the game. Shawn Armstrong replaced Bundy, and got Willy Adames to bounce a little dribbler. Armstrong fielded the ball and fired it over Chris Davis’s glove and into right field. Perez came around to score and Adames strolled into second. However, Adames had run out of the baseline, and was called out by the home plate umpire. Perez was sent back to second base.
It’s hard to tell if Armstrong was effected by Adames running so far out of the baseline. There’s a chance he still would have airmailed the throw, but it didn’t matter. Armstrong retired Brandon Lowe to end the inning, and the shutout remained intact.
Mychal Givens recorded the final three outs to pick up his third save of the season. Givens walked Ji-Man Choi with one out, but forced Nate Lowe to ground into a game-ending double play.
The bullpen did their job, but Bundy was the story of the night. He worked fast, executed, and kept the ball in the yard. He allowed just three hits to the best team in the American League, and sent an announced crowd of 15,241 home happy on a Saturday night.
The question immediately becomes whether this becomes a “turn-the-page” type of moment for Bundy. Forget about a first-round pick, Bundy did not resemble a Major League pitcher in the month of April. He showed tonight that he’s still capable of pitching effectively in the AL East.
Believe it or not, the game moves pretty quickly when the pitchers are efficient. The contest lasted just 2 hours an 19 minutes. The game marked the first shutout win for the Orioles this season, and provides them a chance to take the series tomorrow afternoon with John Means on the mound.
Who was the most Birdland player on Saturday May 4th?
This poll is closed
Dylan Bundy (7.1 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 4 K)
Dwight Smith Jr. (1-4, HR)