When Dylan Bundy was scratched earlier this week from a start against the Rays, it initially caused some concern. The Orioles certainly could not afford to lose one of their only reliable starters from a paper-thin rotation. As it turned out, Bundy was fine. Brandon Hyde decided to play the matchups, and provided Bundy with a few extra days rest.
The move paid off.
Bundy did not allow a run in the first six innings of tonight’s game, and exited after allowing just one run on three hits. The Orioles bullpen preserved the lead, and Baltimore held on for a 4-1 victory in the first of three games in Toronto.
Bundy cruised early on, and limited baserunners throughout the contest. He struck out six, while walking two, and nearly escaped the seventh without a mistake. His one error, a 2-2 fastball that missed its target and sat atop the strike zone. Brandon Drury turned the fastball around and sent it to the outfield seats, but Bundy left with the Birds holding a one-run advantage.
Bundy’s only competition for most Birdland player of the game came from an unlikely candidate. Chris Davis got the Orioles on the board with a 405-foot blast in the top of the second. The bomb was Crush’s fifth home run off of Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez, and the ball left the bat at 101 MPH. Rio Ruiz followed up Davis with a two-out walk, and later came around to score on a sharp single down the left field line by Jonathan Villar.
Bundy carried the Orioles after that, and both teams stayed off the scoreboard until Drury’s homer in the seventh. After Freddy Galvis singled off of Richard Bleier, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stepped up representing the go-ahead run. Hyde summoned Miguel Castro from the bullpen, and Castro delivered. Guerrero skied a ball to left field that was deep enough to bring cheers from the crowd, but Anthony Santander got under the ball and caught it short of the warning track.
Still, the threat of Vlad Jr. at the plate representing the winning run was enough to cause some distress. The Orioles needed some insurance, and they went out and got just that in the top of the ninth.
Chance Sisco led off the inning with a single to center, and Renato Núñez reached with a walk. Santander laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and place two in scoring position for Davis. Davis delivered once again punching a base hit to right-center field. Both runners came around to score with ease, and the Orioles led 4-1.
Paul Fry worked a flawless ninth inning to secure the victory for the Birds. Fry got rookie Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen to ground out, before Justin Smoak went down swinging to end the game. Bundy picked up the win (4-10), while Fry notched his second save of the season.
Villard and Davis collected four of Baltimore’s six hits, with Ruiz and Sisco recording the other two. Santander started in centerfield for the first time, but eventually shifted over to left when Keon Broxton entered the game late.
This was the type of start that reminded everyone how well Bundy is capable of pitching. He didn’t blow anyone away, but the guy can win a ball game for you if he minimizes the walks and homers. A few more starts like this could drum up some trade talk before the end of July, but for now, the Orioles will settle for the win.
The Orioles will look to win the series tomorrow afternoon behind Andrew Cashner. The Birds should have the pitching advantage for the second straight game, and will look to win their third straight game.
For now, you can join the party, and vote for the Most Birdland Player of the Game!
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Friday, July 5?
This poll is closed
Dylan Bundy (6.1 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1`run, 6 strikeouts)
Chris Davis (2-4, HR, 3 RBIs)