Bundy, bullpen and big swings bring victory to Orioles

BOSTON - J.J. Hardy didn’t need the Pesky Pole tonight. Nolan Reimold just needed a chance to start.

Hardy hit a three-run homer in the second inning, the ball slamming off a sign above the last row of seats on top of the Green Monster. Drew Stubbs walked, stole second base and cruised home on Reimold’s two-run shot - also to left field, but closer to the first row.

Two home runs and five runs in a span of three batters, enough for Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz to get booed. Enough for Dylan Bundy to keep the lead after a lapse in control in the bottom half of the inning and Xander Bogaerts’ solo home run in the fifth.

Bundy made it through 5 1/3 innings before turning it over to the bullpen, and the Orioles moved within two games of first place in the American League East with a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox before 38,041 at Fenway Park.

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The Orioles improved to 79-65 overall and 33-41 on the road. They received a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings from relievers Tommy Hunter, Donnie Hart, Brad Brach and Zach Britton.

Bundy allowed three runs and six hits, walked four and struck out four. He threw 95 pitches, two short of his career high, and improved to 9-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 99 2/3 innings.

Bundy issued bases-loaded walks to No. 9 hitter Ryan Hanigan, batting .170, and leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia in the second. He retired eight of the next nine batters before Bogaerts homered. David Ortiz singled and moved to second on Stubbs’ error, but Bundy retired the next three batters on two fly balls and a pop up.

A leadoff walk to Chris Young in the sixth was followed by a fly ball from Jackie Bradley Jr. and manager Buck Showalter’s signal to the bullpen. Hunter replaced Bundy and induced a double play grounder from Hanigan.

Hart retired Ortiz on a shallow fly ball to left field after replacing Hunter with one on and one out in the seventh. Brach retired Mookie Betts on a fly ball to hold a 5-3 lead.

Left-handers are 5-for-28 against Hart.

Brach left with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth, and Britton recorded the four-out save to raise his season total to 42. Britton has four multi-inning saves this season, three against the Red Sox.

Hardy homered twice in an April 12 game at Fenway Park, both balls sneaking inside the right field pole. Teammates teased Hardy about the lack of distance, but tonight’s shot was no joke.

Reimold hadn’t started since Sept. 3 or hit a home run since his walk-off against the Indians on July 24 at Camden Yards. He was 9-for-69 (.130) with one double, one home run and two RBIs since the All-Star break.

On one swing, he doubled his home run and RBI totals.

Reimold was in the lineup because Steve Pearce had more discomfort in his right elbow/forearm area. A healthy Pearce probably would have pushed Reimold to the bench again.

Reimold also singled in the fourth inning.

The Orioles didn’t score again until Jonathan Schoop led off the ninth inning with his 24th home run. They’ve hit 231 this season.

Pomeranz was gone after a leadoff walk to Manny Machado in the third inning. He allowed five runs and four hits, walked two and struck out three.

Mark Trumbo led off the second with a single and Chris Davis walked. Matt Wieters grounded into a force at third base, but Hardy homered with the count full.

The Stubbs walk and Reimold home run gave the Orioles a 5-0 lead. The Orioles homered twice last night for their only two hits in a 12-2 loss.

They stranded two runners in the fourth tonight, two in the fifth, one in the seventh and three in the eighth after Adam Jones struck out with the bases loaded. Schoop provided a big insurance run and the Orioles evened the series.

The Blue Jays also lost tonight.

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