BRADENTON, Fla. - Considering he had yielded 10 runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 in his first two Grapefruit League starts, Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy produced much better results this afternoon at LECOM Park against Pittsburgh.
Bundy became the first O’s pitcher to throw five innings this spring and he allowed seven hits and one run with no walks and five strikeouts. He did not have a strikeout in those first two games. But this afternoon, he had a nice pitch mix working, throwing 84 pitches, 54 for strikes.
He got challenged today at times by the Pirates and at times by the Florida conditions.
“Real windy today,” Bundy said in the visitors clubhouse. “I was out of the stretch a lot and it was kind of tough not to flinch out there. But felt great. Got in 84 pitches and kind of in a good way it was good to throw that many pitches, even though it was only five innings. Arm felt great and body felt good. I was pretty happy with all my pitches after about the third inning.”
Bundy fell behind 1-0 in the last of the first when the Bucs’ Josh Harrison led off with a double to left center. He scored on a two-out flared single along the third base line off the bat of Gregory Polanco. O’s third baseman Danny Valencia could not quite make an over-the-shoulder catch.
But Bundy would not allow any more runs as he stranded two runners in the second and got a key double play in the fourth. He pitched around a two-out double in the fifth. He didn’t have a single 1-2-3 inning but he lowered his ERA from 20.77 to 10.61. He had given up five runs in each of those first two Grapefruit League games before throwing in a simulated game between those outings and today.
Bundy is not focusing too much on results but his bottom line was so much better today.
“Yeah, it always feels good when you leave the game with a lead. Mainly just happy with the way the pitches were moving today and the location of them. A lot better than the first two outings. I think my command was better today,” he said.
Bundy made liberal use of his secondary pitches today along with a fastball that touched 93 often on the stadium gun.
“Me and (catcher) Andrew Susac talked about it a little before the game, what I like to do. Curveball was there for me today for 0-0 strikes, seemed like four or five times. That allows me to use other pitches throughout the at-bat.”