BOSTON - The bullpen phone rang and reliever Tommy Hunter answered it.
That’s how Dylan Bundy’s major league debut got under way.
Then it got complicated ... and comical.
“Tommy Hunter answered the phone and told me I was going in. I said, ‘What?’ and I couldn’t find my glove. Took me about a minute to find it,” Bundy said. “He told me to get going, so I was like, OK, its happening, and I got loose as quick as I could.”
Bundy said he was ready when manager Buck Showalter signaled for him.
“Yeah, I said I was good to the bullpen coach (Bill Castro),” Bundy said. “I don’t know if I was loose or not, but I was ready to go out there and throw.
“I was nervous at first. When I threw that first pitch, I was hoping it would be a strike. But after that first pitch, I felt a whole lot better about the whole thing.”
The first pitch was a ball to pinch-hitter Ryan Lavarnway, who flied to center on Bundy’s next offering, a 92 mph fastball. Danny Valencia flied to right on a 2-2 pitch.
What was it like to run from the bullpen to the mound in his first big league game at Fenway Park?
“It was a lot longer run than I thought it would be,” Bundy said. “I looked up at (Showalter) and he said ‘Get us out of the inning,’ and I did my best. I threw strikes and was able to get two popouts.
“Not really (nervous) on the mound. My legs were kind of a little bit light. But then when I got to the dugout, my hands were shaking. Other than that, it was pretty good.”
Bundy’s family wasn’t here for the big moment.
“No, they went home the first game (in Boston),” he said. “Didn’t have anyone here tonight. They’re coming back up to Baltimore.”
Bundy confirmed that he didn’t throw any cutters to Valencia.
“Yeah, slider, not a cutter,” he said.
Bundy pitched an inning against the Red Sox in spring training, but that didn’t prepare him for today’s assignment.
“I was telling the bullpen guys I thought it might help a little bit, facing (Dustin) Pedroia, (Jacoby) Ellsbury and (Adrian) Gonzalez, but no, it didn’t help at all. I was still nervous,” he said.
“Definitely good to get the first two outs. Getting the first two outs satisfies me a little bit, and hopefully the next time I won’t be as nervous.”
Luis Ayala took the loss after allowing back-to-back doubles to Pedroia and Cody Ross leading off the bottom of the eighth.
“I made one bad pitch to Pedroia,” he said. “It was a little high. I made a good pitch to Cody, but he hit it. It’s a part of the game.”
Brian Matusz replaced Ayala and induced a fly ball. He’s stranded all 15 inherited runners this season.
The shadows across home plate created challenges for both teams and umpire Al Porter.
“It was tough,” said Mark Reynolds. “Guys were trying sunglasses, light-lens, dark-lens. But you know both teams were playing in the same conditions. Probably why the score was 2-1 and in the later innings, when the shadows got past the pitcher’s mound, it was a little easier to see. But you can’t take anything away from (Felix) Doubront. He threw great. Kept us off balance. Threw a lot of strikes. He pitched a good game.”
Reynolds could have scored the tying run in the ninth if Jim Thome’s ball hadn’t bounced over the right field fence.
That’s part of this park,” Reynolds said. “I’m sure we had a couple balls hit the Monster that would have been outs at other places. We had our chances. Couldn’t get it done. But there’s still some games left to play.”
The Orioles missed a chance to sweep the Red Sox and pull into a first-place tie. Now it’s back to Baltimore for Monday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
“It sucks,” said Adam Jones. “We needed this one. Obviously, going down to this last stretch, every game is seen as a must-win. We put ourselves in the position. We just didn’t come through with the hit, but we put ourselves in the position. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for. We’ve been coming through with the hits and I think we expected ourselves to come through as a team. When it didn’t happen, we were disappointed, but hey, we put ourselves in the best position and that’s all you could ask for.
“It’s going to be a long day. We’ve got to get home, get a good dinner and get back on it tomorrow for at least 18 innings. We like to play extras, so I’m saying at least 18.”