By Gregor Chisholm and Brittany Ghiroli
BALTIMORE-- Backed by seven strong innings from Dylan Bundy, the Orioles held on for a 3-1 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Camden Yards, claiming both ends of their season-opening two-game series.
Bundy, who started last season in the bullpen, was magnificent. The young righty held Toronto to one run on four hits and struck out eight in the 99-pitch outing. Toronto scored on Devon Travis' third-inning single, which plated Justin Smoak, but otherwise had no answer for Bundy.
"They haven't seen much of him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You look through the matchups, there wasn't much there. There was a little bit of potential for ambush factor early in the game, but he kept them as much as he could off balance, and they had to honor all his pitches.
"You talk a lot about command of, one, to compete, two, to win and three to, I don't want to say 'dominate.' But when you give them three different looks and they have to honor three different pitches - really four tonight - you like your chances."
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ also went seven innings and struck out nine, but he was victimized by the long ball. All three runs given up by Happ came on homers, including Adam Jones' two-run shot and Chris Davis' 200th as an Oriole.
"I think even if you look at the home run to Jones, I felt like I made my pitch," Happ said. "He kind of got his hands in there, and in this ballpark that can hurt you. Then I was just trying to be aggressive, and Davis got me on the first pitch. Overall, I felt like I was throwing a lot of strikes, and that's a good sign."
Toronto threatened late, loading the bases in the ninth inning on Orioles closer Zach Britton, who was able to get a double-play ball to end the game and pick up his first save of the season. It was also the 50th consecutive save for Britton, which is the fifth longest streak in Major League history.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED O's flash their power: A club that led the Major Leagues with 253 home runs in 2016 is right back at it. After Mark Trumbo's walk-off homer on Opening Day, the Orioles' two blasts again proved to be the difference against the Blue Jays.
"Yeah, I've got [the 200-homer mark] in nine-plus years. He's done it in six," Jones said of Davis' milestone. "That's a real, real slugger right there. It's just a testament, first off, to staying healthy. You can't do none of this stuff while being hurt. Myself and CD have been very instrumental in being on the field daily, and that's just a big message to this team. We play all the time. You try to get 155 or more games a year when you play that many games something has to happen."
Trouble with the RISP: Baltimore's Brad Brach relieved Bundy in the top of the eighth inning and promptly gave up a leadoff double to the first batter he faced in Justin Smoak. With Toronto trailing by just two runs, that looked like trouble, but Brach quickly bounced back by getting Kevin Pillar to pop out and striking out Travis and Josh Donaldson to escape the jam.
The Blue Jays then loaded the bases in the top of the ninth vs. Britton but once again came away without a run as they finished the night 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and are now 1-for-16 in those situations to start the year.
"Early," Pillar said when asked to sum up his club's first two games. "The opportunities were there, we just didn't capitalize. They came out and had a couple of big hits, they were able to hit some home runs and put some runs across. For the most part, I felt like we were able to get some guys on base, we just couldn't come up with the big hit. Like I said, it's two of 162, and we look forward to getting to Tampa tomorrow."
DID YOU SEE THAT?
Pillar was up to his old tricks in the bottom of the third inning, when he robbed Baltimore's Manny Machado of at least extra bases. Pillar ranged deep into straightaway center and then made a leaping grab before having a violent collision with the wall. According to Statcast™, Machado's drive off Happ was crushed at 111.1 mph and is a hit 86 percent of the time, but Pillar clearly had other ideas. More >
"You see him do that all of the time," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He can play some defense, that's for sure. He can win some games with his glove."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Jones' homer in the bottom of the third inning marked his 223rd as an Oriole, tying him for fifth place with Rafael Palmeiro.
WHAT'S NEXT Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a four-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Thursday night at 7:10 ET. Tampa Bay will counter with left-hander Blake Snell.
Orioles: Baltimore will send right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound on Friday, after enjoying the second of three off-days in the season's first week. Jimenez will face the Yankees, who are countering with righty Luis Severino in the 7:05 p.m. ET matchup.