Dylan Bundy took to the mound this afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the Baltimore Orioles, and in the process put the O’s in a spot to win. I would also add that he collected the victory himself. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K.
The Birds got at it early today, taking a 1-0 lead on Renato Nunez‘s RBI-single. Two innings later Nunez came up with two runners in scoring position, and smacked a two-RBI double to give the O’s a 3-0 lead. Tampa was put on notice early on that their pennant race would have to wait until after leaving Baltimore this afternoon.
Later in the inning DJ Stewart‘s RBI-single tan the lead to 4-0. Tampa would net a run however in the top of the fourth on Kiermaier’s RBI-single. But the Orioles weren’t about to allow that to bother them. They extended the lead to 5-1 in the last of the fourth with a solo homer by Jonathan Villar.
Incidentally, in a season where we’ve seen opposing hitters hit balls a long way against the Birds, that Villar home run might be one of the longest we’ve seen all season. It almost flew into the entryway where fans go from the seating bowl to the concourse. Anthony Santander would add a two-RBI single before the inning ended, giving the O’s a 6-1. Incidentally, Santander also had the first five-hit game of his career this afternoon.
Tampa would tack on two runs in the fifth in an attempt to inch their way back into the game. The O’s also managed to lose pitching coach Doug Brocail, who was ejected in the top of the fifth. It was a bit of a quick hook by the first base umpire after Brocail questioned a check swing that was called a ball, but nevertheless ejections come at the discretion of the umpire.
But the O’s weren’t about to allow the loss of their pitching coach do them in. Stevie Wilkerson added a sac fly-RBI in the last of the fifth, and Anthony Santander added a solo homer in the seventh. With the 8-3 victory, the O’s split the series with Tampa – a team I would remind fans, that’s in contention.
The two wins the O’s took in this series were good victories. They didn’t back into winning the games or anything along those lines. It falls on deaf ears in a sense because Friday night the Orioles were officially eliminated from playoff contention, but the two victories in this series were solid ones.
But there is one thing that’s worth mentioning. In my season preview back in March I said that a successful season for the Orioles this year was going to be to beat last year’s win total of 47. Today was win number 43. With over a month left to play before the season ends, are we to believe that the O’s are only going to win three more games? So as tough as this season has been at times, based on pure math you have no choice but to admit that the organization is going the right way.