After a loss which featured a few bobbled balls in the field and the Orioles going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, Adam Jones was asked if pennant race pressure was finally getting to the Orioles?
“No, for what. Ain’t nobody in here like that,” Jones said. “We’re still enjoying ourselves and still having fun. That is what we’ve been doing since the first day of spring training. It’s a cool position to be in and we just have to come through, pretty much. We got shutout, but come out and put up runs tomorrow. We were a bloop and a blast away but we were unable to get it.”
Jones gave some credit to Toronto starter Aaron Laffey, who pitched 5 2/3 innings of five-hit ball. Laffey is now 2-0 with an ERA of 1.12 in eight career games against the Birds.
“Even a couple times when he got 2-0 or 3-0, he made pitches,” Jones said. “Sometimes you have to tip your cap. We hit a lot balls hard to shortstop and put ourselves in position in the ninth. We ain’t quitting.”
Joe Saunders took the loss tonight and talked about the game and his outing.
“We just came up short and in that circumstance you tip your cap to the opposing pitcher,” Saunders said. “It was a battle for me. I didn’t feel like I had my best stuff, but tried to keep the team in the game as much as I could. I think we’ve played like 100 innings the last five days, so the bullpen is pretty burned up and I just had to go as deep as I could.
“I made some good pitches. A few broken-bat hits and one of those nights where we didn’t get much done offensively and we fell short.
“I think we’re fine. I think we might be a little tired, but you have to push through. At this time of the year you have to dig down deep and find whatever you have and compete the most you can.”
After you’ve lost two of three in a four-game series, nothing left at that point Saunders said, then to get the series finale.
“I think tomorrow is huge,” he said. “You never want to lose a series at home. If we can salvage a split, that would be fantastic. Hopefully we scratch out a win tomorrow, have a good off day and come back and have a good series against Boston.
“I don’t think we are watching any scoreboards. We are just focused on the task at hand. Whatever happens up north, is going to happen up north. We can’t control that.”
After making his major league debut Sunday at Boston, Dylan Bundy made his Camden Yards debut tonight, pitching a scoreless top of the ninth after the first two hitters reached on a walk and bloop hit.
“I was less nervous but I just wasn’t commanding any of my pitches except my changeup,” Bundy said. “Fastball command was brutal tonight. Lucky I got a pop out and double play ball. Just tried to put a zero up there.”
Bundy got a huge ovation when he took the mound to start the ninth, but said he was too focused to really notice.
“I didn’t really hear too much, I was focused on going out there and pitching,” he said. “But getting my feet wet and getting use to these hitters (is a help.) They told me in the eighth I might get in. Today wasn’t as much of a shock. My first one I was nervous,” he said after his 22-pitch inning.”
But on a night they didn’t score, they couldn’t win. Jones was asked if he has been scoreboard watching.
“We’re trying to get more runs on our scoreboard,” he said.