Righty achieves milestone aided by O's big seventh
By Shane Jackson
CLEVELAND -- For right-handed reliever Dylan Bundy it seemed just like any other game. Immediately following the Orioles' 6-4 victory over the Indians on Friday night, the young reliever dispersed to the clubhouse at Progressive Field.
It was there that his teammates were quick to congratulate him on his accomplishment. It was then -- several minutes after the game -- that Bundy realized he had just notched his first Major League victory.
"I didn't even know I got the win until some of my teammates told me in the clubhouse," Bundy said. "It's still exciting. It was fun."
Bundy entered in the fifth inning inheriting two runners. He relieved starter Mike Wright, who surrendered three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings in the no-decision effort. Wright had just coughed up the three-run lead, and the Orioles needed a big out to keep the score deadlocked.
With runners on second and third, Bundy toed the rubber against Tribe first baseman Mike Napoli, who had just homered in his previous at-bat. Bundy buckled down and forced Napoli to pop up to the third baseman to keep the score even at 3-3.
"I can actually remember giving up some inherited runners of Mike's in the past," Bundy said. "I really wanted to leave those guys stranded for him too -- not just for me. It was a big moment."
Baltimore stuck with Bundy in the sixth, and the hurler responded with a scoreless frame. He faced the minimum three batters, surrendering just one hit before handing the ball off to the next reliever in line, righty Brad Brach. Baltimore used four relievers in the opener, but it was Bundy who sealed the win.
However, Bundy wouldn't have been able to accomplish his first big league victory without the help of his offense. Following his scoreless sixth, the Orioles reclaimed the lead, scoring three runs in the seventh on three extra-base hits, capped by a two-run shot by Mark Trumbo, his AL-leading 15th homer.
"I hit that thing pretty hard," Trumbo said. "This is a tough ballpark to get them out sometimes. It can play pretty big. At that point of time it was really timely, it worked out well."
A combination of Bundy's brief relief stint and the seventh-inning rally was enough to give the Orioles the win, snapping a season-high four-game losing streak. With that in mind, it's understandable why Bundy was so nonchalant when he left the field. He was under the impression that he had just done his part to get the Orioles back on track. Even his own manager didn't process the meaning of that game for Bundy at first.
"I could hear it inside, so I figured it out," Buck Showalter said. "I thought about a little bit. But that was it. That's really cool. He deserved it, too."
But nonetheless, Bundy was handed several souvenir baseballs at his locker after the game. He tucked them away, but he indicated he does have plans for them later.
"I will probably keep a couple of them and put them in my house," Bundy said.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.