For the first time in however long, the Baltimore Orioles and Dylan Bundy got a lead and got some breathing room this afternoon against Miami. While Miami took the first two games of this series and for a brief moment appeared poised to make a comeback attempt in this one as well, the Birds were able to both add on and shut the door. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
Make no mistake about the fact that Bundy pitched better than his stat line indicates. He started to struggle in the sixth inning, allowing a few runs on a homer. However prior to that he dominated a Miami lineup that was quickly heating up. Not only that, but the Orioles put runs on the board behind him.
The O’s had two runners in scoring position in the second, and Jace Peterson‘s two-RBI double gave them a 2-0 lead. Make no mistake that was one of the big plays of the day. When you’re scuffling as a team and nothing’s going right for you, if you allow an opportunity like that early in the game to go by the wayside the here we go again mentality starts to creep in. And that’s not conducive to winning. Instead, the Orioles were able to get that clutch hit with RISP that had evaded them most of the season this afternoon.
One inning later Mark Trumbo added on a run with an RBI-double, on a ball that was equal parts almost caught, and almost a homer. Trey Mancini would follow up later in the inning with an RBI-single, and the Birds were off to a 4-0 lead against the Fish. For once, the clutch hits just kept on coming for the Birds this afternoon.
But as I said, there was a brief period where Miami seemed curious to know if they could make a comeback attempt. That started with Bour’s home run in the top of the fourth. It was only a solo shot, but it was a homer none the less – and it got Miami on the scoreboard. However the Orioles would come back and then some, as Adam Jones‘ RBI-double ran the Birds’ lead to 6-1. And that was only in the fourth inning; the fans cheered when for the first time in a long time, the Orioles flashed on the scoreboard that fans could get half price Papa Johns pizza tomorrow since they scored more than five runs!
But there was more; Peterson smacked a two-run homer over the scoreboard in right field in the last of the fifth, and the route appeared to be on. But as I said above, one inning later Bundy started to struggle a bit. It always starts innocently enough, with a lead off base hit. A walk later, and Bundy had two runners on and nobody out. That brought Bour to the plate again, and he smacked his second home run of the game – this obviously of the three-run variety.
The O’s still held a four-run lead, but momentum briefly seemed to question which side it was on. I wouldn’t say it was ever with Miami, but as I said it questioned if it really belonged with the Orioles. But it did; Bundy got out of the inning, and left the game with a lead. Unfortunately however, the bullpen would immediately load the bases in the seventh with nobody out. Again, suspense hung in the air – but Mychal Givens pitched the Orioles out of that jam without surrendering a run, preserving the lead.
The O’s would plate two more runs before all was said and done; Trumbo on a solo homer, and Manny Machado with an RBI-single in the last of the eighth. End of the day, the final was 10-4. Just the type of win for which the Orioles had been looking for some time.
The Birds are off tomorrow before they head down the pike to Washington for a return engagement with the Washington Nationals. The hope is that this game wasn’t an anomaly. But time will tell. At least for now however, the Birds can at least relax this evening and tomorrow knowing that the got a win.