Bundy has career night, could ease rotation concerns

Righty collects first win as starter, allows one unearned run in five frames

Bundy has career night, could ease rotation concerns

BALTIMORE -- Dylan Bundy's first career start at Camden Yards arrived much longer after his 2011 Draft selection than fans and the Orioles alike wanted, but they hope it's a sign of things to come. For a staff in desperate need of more consistent starting pitching, Bundy delivered in Friday's 5-1 win over the Indians.

The former fourth overall selection went five innings in his second career start, allowing one unearned run on five hits and five strikeouts to notch his first win as a starter. With the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, and the market short on quality starters, Bundy's performance the rest of the season could be crucial.

"We need more of it," third baseman Manny Machado said. "He's on pace to do something special for us, carrying this pitching staff and helping us get to where we need to be. It was impressive what he did today. I know everybody in here was impressed."

The O's entered with the fifth-worst starters ERA in the Majors, and Bundy's first career start Sunday did little to alleviate those concerns. He surrendered three homers in 3 1/3 innings in that game against the Rays.

But on a humid night at Camden Yards in the dead of summer, when the ball figured to be traveling well, Bundy had no problem keeping the Indians inside the park. The 23-year-old flashed his 96-mph heater while mixing in a good curveball and changeup that kept the Tribe off balance. It started in the first inning when Bundy struck out the side while allowing just a single.

"I was just able to get my changeup and curveball in the game and show that to them, and it worked out," Bundy said.

Friday's start also helped stretch Bundy out more. Prior to Sunday, he'd never thrown more than 57 pitches in a Major League game. But after throwing 70 pitches against Tampa Bay, he tossed 87 in Friday's win.

And perhaps the best sign for the Orioles was that Bundy didn't look fatigued at the end of his career-long outing.

"He felt good at the end," manager Buck Showalter said. "Started to give me that, 'I can keep going' look."

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.