The Orioles scored a run in the first inning tonight and the race was on to make it an official game before the storms hit.
The forecast called for rain around first pitch, but there were only dry eyes in the house.
Another run in the third inning and still nothing. Dwight Smith Jr. led off the fourth with a home run and the grounds crew hadn’t left the shed.
Dylan Bundy got on a roll, the tarp stayed rolled up and the Orioles defeated the Rays 3-0 before an announced crowd of 15,241 on “Star Wars” Night at Camden Yards.
Bundy shut out the Rays on three hits over 7 1/3 innings for his first win since Sept. 13 and the Orioles improved to 12-22 overall and 4-11 at home. They’ve actually won three of their last four games in Baltimore.
Mychal Givens notched his third save and the Orioles had their first shutout after losing 7-0 last night.
By retiring the side in order in the seventh, Bundy had turned in his longest outing since July 29. He hadn’t recorded an out in the eighth since June 11.
Bundy threw 96 pitches and left after Michael Pérez’s one-out double, the first hit off him since the second inning. Shawn Armstrong fielded Willy Adames’ roller near the mound and fired the ball over Chris Davis’ head, but Adames was out of the baseline and ruled out, with Pérez returning to second base. Brandon Lowe struck out and the lead remained intact.
The Rays started Yonny Chirinos instead of opener Ryne Stanek in anticipation of rain and a likely delay. Chirinos was supposed to back up Stanek, and he fell behind 1-0 in the first on Jonathan Villar’s leadoff double, Trey Mancini’s single - both hits to the opposite field - and Smith’s double play grounder.
Mancini was 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts since bruising his right index finger Saturday night in Minnesota. He also singled in the fifth.
May the force out be with you.
Smith’s home run extended the lead to 3-0 and gave him six on the season to tie him with Mancini and Renato Núñez for the team lead. Anyone predict it back in March?
The game became official after Adames grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the fifth. Bundy had issued a one-out walk to Daniel Robertson, ending a stretch of 10 batters retired in a row, and he hit Pérez.
Bundy threw nine pitches in the first, 10 in the third, 12 in the sixth and nine in the seventh. A leadoff single in the first was followed by a fly ball, comebacker and liner to third baseman Rio Ruiz. A leadoff double in the second was followed by a groundout, strikeout and fly ball, with Robertson swinging through a 92 mph fastball while Avísail García stood at third base with one out.
Givens induced a double play grounder to end the game, and the tarp finally was unrolled to provide field protection from the storm that’s headed this way.
Hyde on Bundy: “It was such a well-pitched game by him. I just loved the fact that he had four pitches going. I thought he had life in his fastball from the first inning tonight. I feel like the previous starts the fastball kind of came after some bad things happened. I thought he had really good life to his heater from the first inning on. On top of that, which we’ve been talking a ton about, is he was throwing the fastball to both sides of the plate. So pitching in off the plate, setting up other things.
“Him and Austin just did a great job of navigating through the lineup and utilizing his stuff. It was a really well-pitched game, with his secondary pitches thrown for strikes and not giving in in hitter’s counts. It was big league pitching.”
Hyde on enjoying a starter going deep: “That was a major league start. That was really enjoyable, there’s no doubt. To have a guy be able to throw off-speed stuff in hitter’s counts, be able to not give in and be able to throw the fastball on the inner part of the plate and then off the inner part of the plate is something I’m begging our guys to do. That comes with a lot of things, but Dylan did that tonight. I think you see how it opens up other things when you’re able to elevate above the zone, and when you go in you either get in or you get off the plate in, and it just opens up the plate for you. He did it tonight and, hopefully, we’re going to see more of that.”
Hyde on how you build off it: “I think our guys pay attention, and it’s something we’ve been talking a lot about, and I’d want to believe that’s how we’re going to pitch going forward. Obviously, we’re not going to have nights like tonight, but I just think that pitching and not just throwing balls on the outer half of the plate and missing in and in hitter’s counts throwing heaters. Pitching at the big league level is so many different things. The hitters are too good. And so for Dylan to do what he did tonight against a really good lineup and a playoff-contending club is impressive. It’s impressive to be able to have four pitches going, and I just loved the way he was locating his heater. He just did a great job.”
Hyde on eighth inning call: “It would have brought the tying run to the plate, for sure. I would have brought in Paul Fry to face the left-hander and would have had Givens behind him. He threw that ball away with the runner interference, but that was a really nice job by Shawn to be able to punch out a tough left-hander in a big spot. It was just a great job by all of our guys.”
Hyde on hitters rebounding after being shut out: “Yesterday was a night where you’re facing a premiere pitcher with great stuff on a really good night, and sometimes you lose those games. Unless you’re throwing up zeros on your end you’re going to lose those games.
“I feel like we had really good ABs from the first inning on tonight, and Chirinos has a really good sinker. He’s got really good stuff. For D-Smith to be able to hit a sinker and be able to stay inside it and be able to hit a four-iron into center field, I mean, that’s just so impressive. I just liked the way our guys battled. We hit a ton of ground balls. Chirinos is a groundball guy because of that sinker. And played great defense.”
Hyde on Bundy’s demeanor: “I think Dylan’s the same guy every day. I don’t know ever if Dylan, to be honest with you, I don’t know if he has a good day or a bad day. He’s the same dude. He’s as low-key and easygoing as he can possibly be. I haven’t seen him, either, get too pumped up or the other way. That’s probably helped him throughout his career of, he’s just really steady. He’s steady without a whole lot of emotion. I tease him at times on days he’s not pitching about a little ball talk in dugout because he’s just so even-keel. I hope he builds on tonight and continues to pitch well the rest of the year.”
Bundy on getting first win: “It’s been a while. Get that first one out of the way. Overall, it was a good team win, good ballgame.”
Bundy on what he did differently: “I just felt like I was throwing all pitches to both sides of the plate on both left- and right-handed hitters. Kind of mixing it up on them and keep them guessing.”
Bundy on tempo: “It’s all about rhythm and tempo, especially when you’re going good. You want to keep that rolling and just attack the hitters and get quick outs.”
Bundy on ovation after he left game: “It was great. Anytime the fans are cheering for you it’s great. Good crowd tonight, and like I said, it was a good team win.”
Bundy on being first guy out of dugout and whether extra motivation: “I wouldn’t say extra, but it’s always great to go out there for the eighth inning and go out there for as many innings as you can and give your bullpen a break. And you feel like you really did your job going out there for the eighth inning.”
Bundy on having more life on fastball early: “I’m not really sure, exactly. I feel like the last two or three starts the fastball has been better. Just kind of keep building from that and look forward to the next start.”
Wynns on Bundy: “Awesome. He had all his stuff today. We executed all our pitches. We had a great game plan, and when things were scuffling a little bit we stuck to our game plan, and all our guys were in position, the right spot. Dilly did a great job, great job. We needed that big-time.”
Wynns on Bundy’s tempo: “The tempo of the game was quick. He was on point. We were on the same page. We had no hiccups. It was awesome. That’s what we need, and we need to make that a habit every day.”