Núñez stayed in the game and singled into left field. Christopher Bostick pinch-ran after Núñez reached third base.
“A little contusion, a bad spot underneath the knee,” said manager Brandon Hyde after a 7-6 loss to the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. “It just sounds like he’s really sore.”
Hyde downplayed how Núñez’s status impacts the third base competition.
“It should just be like a bruise and he wasn’t going to play anyway tomorrow,” Hyde said. “Just a little bruise underneath the knee and should be fine in a couple days.”
Andrew Susac took a pitch off his right hand while catching later in the game. He made some test throws and continued to play.
“He caught it, I think, everywhere on his body,” Hyde said. “That was a rough couple innings. Multiple places on his fingers. He just had a rough one.
“Going behind the plate you have those days sometimes and it kind of snowballed there on him with the amount of foul tips he was getting. Off the elbow pad, off his finger. He’s fine. I just felt bad for him. It was a rough go.”
Mark Trumbo batted twice again today in back-to-back starts as the designated hitter and flied out and grounded out. He won’t make the trip Friday to Fort Myers, but returns to the lineup Saturday in Dunedin.
“I try to get him off the field as early as possible so he can come in and get treatment and that type of thing,” Hyde said.
“All reports were that his knee felt good today. So back-to-back two ABs apiece and he feels good, so that’s real positive.”
Dylan Bundy allowed three runs and seven hits while becoming the first Orioles starter to exceed 3 2/3 innings. He completed the fifth at 74 pitches.
“Especially those first four innings, I thought he was really sharp,” Hyde said. “His mound presence was great. I thought he showed two plus breaking balls, a really good changeup. I thought his fastball had more hop than he’s had the first few starts.
“I thought he got a little fatigued there in the fifth, but exactly what we were hoping for. Getting through five innings with good shape to his pitches. It was a really good start for him.”
Cedric Mullins led off the bottom of the first inning with his second spring home run, but he was retired in his next three at-bats and is batting .152. He said later that he’s having good at-bats in spite of the results.
“I like Cedric’s at-bats,” Hyde said. “He’s got a lot of tools. He can bunt on you, he can run, he can pop one on you like he did today. He’s got some nice pull power from the left side especially. I just like his game.
“For me, it’s just experience and confidence and continuing to throw him out there. I usually get him an extra AB when he starts like I did today. I gave him four today. Just to kind of continue to feel confident at the plate.
“I just want to see him do what he’s doing, which his compete pitch to pitch and grind out every single at-bat and make things happen on the bases, and he’s done it for the most part.”
Austin Hays went 1-for-2 with a walk and RBI single to leave his average at .364. He continues to trend in the other direction.
“Austin’s aggressive,” Hyde said. “He’s ready to hit from the first pitch. I just like the way he uses the whole field. I think when he has a middle of the field approach, he’s so strong, his hands are so quick, when he stays in the middle of the field and catches it deep like he did in (Tampa) with a double down the right field line and was able to stay back on a breaking ball and hit it out of the park to left field there. And today goes down the line in left field.
“I just think when he stays in the middle of the field and stays closed good things happen because his hands work so well. He’s taking really good at-bats, plays hard. Has played a really good outfield. He’s doing a great job.”