The Baltimore Orioles sent Dylan Bundy to the mound this evening against Boston, in what could have been his penultimate spring start. And despite a couple of struggles, he turned in a dazzling performance. Just as a note, Bundy may well get one more outing for all we know – that’s up to the coaches. But this would be a good way to wrap up the spring. Bundy’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Cedric Mullins led the game off with a solo homer, giving the O’s an early 1-0 lead. Bundy’s one tough inning however was the third. He loaded the bases with nobody out off the bat. He did induce a ground ball double-play by Nunez, but that tied the game at one.
Bundy showed shades of last year in that third inning. He had numerous Boston hitters down in the count on two-strike counts, only to allow them to get aboard. However to his credit, Bundy minimized the damage and worked out of the problem. Pitchers will get themselves in trouble in games. The decent ones find ways out of it also.
The teams played to a 1-1 tie into the middle innings. The Orioles did however make Boston starter Porcello work for his outs, which was good to see. With a runner on first in the last of the sixth, Cedric Mullins hit what appeared to be a single, which would have left runners at the corners. However Mullins hustled into second base, turning a single into a double. Jonathan Villar would subsequently smack a two-RBI single, giving the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
Part of that sequence should be credited to Mullins. He hustled, and was able to get into second. That’s not something that’ll show up in the scorebook. However it’s one of those intangible aspects of a game that will help you to win.
Boston would net a run in the seventh on a wild pitch, however Dwight Smith Jr. would smack a solo homer in the bottom of the inning which extended the Orioles’ lead to 4-2. This only to have it cut back to one at 4-3 in the eighth when the Birds couldn’t complete a double-play. They would later tie the game at four on a wild pitch.
An additional error on the catcher and an RBI-single later, and Jimmy Yacabonis has blown the save. Not all of those runs were Yacabonis’ fault. Again in shades of last season, an Orioles’ opponent found every which way to put runs on the board. Yacabonis was also playing with lots of backup people in the game, which should go as duly noted. All of the runs were earned, but there certainly was a lot that seemed beyond Yacabonis’ control.
While the Birds dropped this one by the aforementioned 6-4 score, it’s important to note that the Orioles’ starters still gave a great showing this evening. Especially Dylan Bundy and Cedric Mullins. The lion’s share of the errors were committed by guys who’ll probably end up in the minors. However that’s also part of learning and part of what rebuilding is about. So this game gives the O’s a lot on which to build.
The Orioles will head up to Bradenton tomorrow to take on Pittsburgh at Lecom Park. David Hess gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.