CHICAGO - On a day when the Orioles offense grabbed the early headlines, right-hander Dylan Bundy had them at the end. He pitched a complete-game two-hitter today on a career-high 121 pitches as the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 9-3 to split a four-game series.
Bundy fanned two batters in each of the first four innings and struck out a career-best 14 against just one walk. He allowed one hit that produced runs and it was a three-run homer by José Rondon in the fourth with the Orioles already ahead 9-3.
“It was fun,” said Bundy, who is now 3-6 with a 4.45 ERA. “I was just trying to attack the hitters. Our offense gave us a pretty big lead today early. So just trying to attack the hitters with fastballs early in the count and get ahead as best I could. I wasn’t really sure what the pitch count was. I was just going out there every inning until he (Buck Showalter) told me not to.”
Bundy would get his second career complete game. His first was also the Orioles’ last - on Aug. 29, 2017 when he pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts.
“I had good zip on the fastball, I thought, today and Chance (Sisco) called a great game back there. Me and him executed the game plan we had coming into the game,” Bundy said.
Bundy’s 14 strikeouts is the most by an O’s pitcher since Erik Bedard fanned 15 on July 7, 2007. Bundy also now has 301 career strikeouts as a starting pitcher. He is the fastest O’s starter ever to 300, doing so in his 53rd career start. Tom Phoebus got to 300 in his 54th start on July 7, 1968.
“That’s as good as you’re going to see a guy pitch,” Showalter said. “Especially when you see a guy three times, four times, five times around the order. That gives you an idea of the kind of repertoire he had today working for him. It was fun to watch. He had a good tempo. Strong. That was a good, old-school outing.”
Of his 121 pitches, Bundy threw 63 four-seam fastballs that averaged 92 mph. He got swings and misses on 21 pitches, including 10 of 25 sliders. He mixed in 20 curveballs.
He even had an answer for his long waits to take the mound when the Orioles were scoring four runs in the first, three in the second and two in the third inning.
“Yeah, it’s always a challenge (the long waits). But I like to go out there and try to get some extra (warm-up) pitches in between innings so I can get the arm loosened up again,” he said.
It was loose and sound, for sure, and Bundy was again strong in a day game. In five day game starts, he is 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA and a .171 average against. Although he has no clue why he’s good before the lights come on.
“Not really (anything) that I can think of. You know, you’ve just got to be mentally prepared and come in here and do your job, no matter a day game or a night game,” he said.
Sisco had to enjoy catching Bundy, who gave up the Rondon homer and a single to Omar Narváez in the seventh for his only hits allowed.
Said Sisco of Bundy: “He had pretty much all four pitches he had command of. When he’s got that going, you can do a lot with that. Put away some guys when he needed it and got some quick outs when he needed it. But command of the zone and he was getting some early swings.”
Chicago starter Lucas Giolito did not have a good day. In the shortest outing of his career, he allowed seven runs and walked three in 1 1/3 innings. He issued two bases-loaded walks and Sisco added a two-run single in Baltimore’s four-run first. Trey Mancini and Adam Jones hit back-to-back solo homers in the second. Sisco had a career-high three RBIs.
“A lot of good at-bats all the way up and down the order. You can say something positive about everybody’s at-bats,” Showalter said.
It was a day for the Orioles to feel good for a change. A comfortable win after last night’s 11-1 blowout loss.
“It feels good,” said Showalter. “Nobody beats up on our guys more than they do, OK? Don’t let them get their feet on the ground. Don’t let them get a little confidence going and what have you, because somebody will pay for a long period of time. That’s just what we’re hoping. We haven’t even played a third of the season yet.”
The Orioles improved to 6-21 on the road, 3-5 on this current trip and to 16-34 through 50 games. Now it is off to St. Petersburg, Fla., and three games with the Tampa Bay Rays beginning Friday night.