Dylan Bundy went further than any other Baltimore Orioles’ starter into a spring game this afternoon in Bradenton against Pittsburgh. And Bundy looked good in doing it, surrendering one run in the first inning. And that came as a result of a muffed ball at third base. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
This was not only the Orioles’ longest start of the spring (eclipsing Cashner’s four innings last night), but also Bundy’s best outing to date. Bundy’s steadily improved, although manager Buck Showalter seemed to indicate that he’d been solid all spring to date when asked if Bundy was looking “better” (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I don’t know about ‘better.’ I thought he continues to have a good spring. He’s just been solid. Go gets some more velocity when he needs it. All of his pitches were available to him today. He’s had a feel for all of them.
The O’s tied the score at one in the fourth on Joey Rickard‘s RBI-single. Later in the inning Luis Sardinas‘ two-RBI double put the Birds in the driver’s seat. Before that fourth inning was over, they’d plate two more runs, one on a pass ball and one on Austin Hays‘ sac fly-RBI.
One inning later the Orioles would keep the pressure on. Jonathan Schoop‘s solo homer gave the Orioles a 6-1 lead, although Pittsburgh would come back in the bottom of the inning with two runs. But the Birds weren’t about to blow this lead. Jose Osuna smacked an RBI-single in the seventh, and Drew Dosch an RBI-single in the eighth. Santander would also draw a walk later in the inning with the bases loaded, and the O’s cruised to an 8-5 win.
However the story on the day was Bundy, and Orioles’ pitching. It’s steadily improved as camp has gone on. Now please bear in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be good throughout the regular season. But in the last week I would submit that something’s clicked a bit and guys have been taking it to the next level. The starters, that is at least.
I’ve said this previously, but my prediction is that Dylan Bundy will be the Orioles’ Opening Day starter. While we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in camp, we aren’t quite to the point to where Buck Showalter will start lining guys up for regular season starts – yet. So we don’t know for sure. But that’s just a prediction for you.
The O’s hit the road again tomorrow, heading to Ft. Myers to take on Minnesota. Chris Tillman will make his first start of the spring for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jake Odorizzi. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.