O’s Bundy show­ing he be­longs

Ori­oles pitcher con­tin­ues to look strong in re­turn from Tommy John sur­gury

Cecil Whig - - & & - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Over five dom­i­nat­ing in­nings Fri­day evening, Dy­lan Bundy showed why the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles will have dif­fi­culty not keep­ing him in the start­ing ro­ta­tion over the re­main­der of the sec­ond half.

Mak­ing just his sec­ond ca­reer start as he con­tin­ues his resur­gence from Tommy John surgery in 2013, Bundy pro­duced per­haps his finest out­ing in an Ori­oles uni­form, al­low­ing one un­earned run on five hits over five in­nings as Bal­ti­more topped the Cleve­land In­di­ans 5-1 in a bat­tle of Amer­i­can League play­off con­tenders.

Bundy (3-2), mak­ing his first-ever start be­fore the home crowd, struck out five bat­ters and al­lowed no walks be­fore de­part­ing hav­ing thrown a ca­reer-high 87 pitches.

“It’s great to give the team five in­nings and give the team a chance to win,” said Bundy, who struck out the side in the first in­ning but couldn’t match the seven strike­outs he recorded in a re­lief ap­pear­ance against the Los An­gels Dodgers on July 6. “The starter’s goal is to give the team a chance to win and I was able to do that today.”

The Ori­oles’ top pitch­ing prospect proved much more ef­fec­tive than his start­ing de­but less than a week ago in Tampa Bay, when he al­lowed four runs on five hits, in­clud­ing three home runs, over 3 1-3 in­nings.

“Me and [catcher] Caleb [Joseph] had a good game plan of get­ting all my pitches in the game early,” said Bundy, who show­cased far more change­ups and curve­balls than his pre­vi­ous start when he threw 80 per­cent fast­balls. “I think we were on the same page, we were able to get into a rhythm and it worked out well for us.”

The In­di­ans scored their lone run against Bundy in the fifth in­ning when Abra­ham Al­monte, who dou­bled and later ad­vanced to third on a passed ball, crossed the plate on a dou­ble play off the bat of Carlos San-

BAL­TI­MORE

tana. The run proved to be un­earned af­ter the Ori­oles failed to tag out Al­monte one bat­ter ear­lier dur­ing a run-down sit­u­a­tion, al­low­ing him to re­turn to third on a fielder’s choice.

Bundy’s per­for­mance is a wel­com­ing sight for an Ori­oles or­ga­ni­za­tion that drafted the now 23-year-old power pitcher out of high school with the fourth over­all pick in the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft. As Bal­ti­more bat­tles for a pos­si­ble play­off spot, the young pitcher could very well make a dif­fer­ence in a ro­ta­tion that cur­rently ranks among the worst in the ma­jors in earned run aver­age.

Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter an­nounced be­fore the game that Bundy may have enough in­nings left to re­main in the ro­ta­tion the rest of the sea­son. He en­tered the con­test hav­ing thrown 41 1-3 in­nings.

His­tor­i­cally, play­ers re­turn­ing from Tommy John surgery are placed on strict in­ning lim­its.

“That’s a re­ally good of­fen­sive team over there [in the Cleve­land dugout] so that makes it even more im­pres­sive,” Showal­ter said of Bundy’s out­ing. “He was good. He pitched as much as threw.”

By the time Bundy walked off the mound Fri­day, the Ori­oles had staked him a four-run lead.

Mark Trumbo put Bal­ti­more on the board in the bot­tom of the first in­ning with a three-run home run to left field. Adam Jones then added to the to­tal with a sac­ri­fice fly in the sec­ond in­ning, be­fore Manny Machado led off the third in­ning with his 20th home run of the sea­son.

“We need more of [what Bundy did]. He’s on pace to do some­thing spe­cial for us, carry this pitch­ing staff and help­ing us get to where we want to be,” Machado said. “We were im­pressed with what he did today.”

The In­di­ans threat­ened to score in the sixth in­ning when they placed run­ners on the cor­ners with one out, but a ground ball dou­ble play started by re­liever Odrisamer De­s­paigne erased the threat.

De­s­paigne, who started the sixth in­ning for Bal­ti­more, threw the next 3 2-3 in­nings of re­lief, al­low­ing no runs and three hits with four strike­outs. Closer Zach Brit­ton then en­tered with a pair of run­ners on and two outs in the ninth and recorded a ground­out for the one-out save.

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

SPE­CIAL TO THE WHIG

Ryleigh Thomas of North East, bot­tom left, poses with the rest of the Delaware Cobras (Bear, Del.) travel soft­ball team af­ter it cap­tured the USSAA World Se­ries Cham­pi­onship on July 17. Thomas was se­lected the World Se­ries MVP by a group of col­lege coaches, um­pires and USSSA rep­re­sen­ta­tives af­ter she fin­ished the tour­na­ment with a 6-1 record and one save. The Cobras went 9-1 en route to the ti­tle.

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