The Baltimore Orioles snapped yet another long losing streak last night, this time behind a quality start from Dylan Bundy. It was a welcome sight for the Birds to find themselves on top of a score after nine innings (or eight-and-a-half, needless to say), but also for Bundy to see himself in the win column. It was his first win since July. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
The O’s appeared on a mission from the get go in this game, hoping not to get swept – this time at home. Tim Beckham‘s two-RBI single in the first gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Of course Beckham was also thrown out at second base trying to extend it into a double, but he did give the O’s the lead early. And it’s a good thing he did, because Piscotty’s solo homer in the second cut that lead to 2-1.
The O’s ran the lead to 3-1 in the fourth on an RBI-single by John Andreoli, followed by an RBI-single from Breyvic Valera. Oakland would plate two more runs over different innings, although most poignantly they cut the lead to 4-3 in the eighth when Olson walked with the bases loaded. That was the moment where you felt everything would come crashing down. And in fact, it almost did. However the O’s pitched out of the jam, leaving the lead at one.
And in fact, Jace Peterson would give them an insurance run with an RBI-double in the last of the eighth. That gave the O’s some breathing room, and they cruised to a 5-3 win. However the story of the game was Bundy, who was praised profusely by manager Buck Showalter after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
That was fun to watch. He had a really good feel for his breaking ball. He just had the one pitch, I thought that he was trying to go down and away off the plate and he let it leak back enough over the plate. He’d like to have that one back. But I thought he had just a good feel for pitching.
He made them beat his breaking ball. He had a good breaking ball, he had good command of it and they didn’t seem like they were seeing it or following it. And he had two of them. Really happy for Dylan. I almost took him out after the fifth inning, just to give him a positive note, but he seemed to get a little better as the game went on.
It’s interesting that Showalter said he almost lifted Bundy after the fifth. While that certainly would have qualified him for the win, it wouldn’t have gone down as a quality start. And pitchers take a lot of pride in that overall.
The Orioles will remain at home tonight to open up a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox. Luis Ortiz will get the call for the Birds (in his first major league start), and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s James Shields. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.