Carroll County Times

Orioles Notebook: Hunter reflects on Saturday's save

BALTIMORE - Tommy Hunter downplayed his outing in Saturday's game against Los Angeles, even if it was a career milestone.

Hunter pitched three scoreless innings in the Orioles' 6-1 win over Los Angeles, which capped a doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers. It also marked Hunter's first save of his career.

Hunter became the 162nd player in Orioles history to post a save, but he was humble about it Sunday morning.

"You always want to win," Hunter said. "It's what it took [Saturday] night, saved our bullpen. I kind of had an idea going in, if I threw well the first inning I'll probably get another, throw well a second I'll probably get the end of it. And that's what happened. Hopefully the success continues to come."

Hunter has three saves at the minor-league level, the most recent of which came last season when Hunter was with Class AA Bowie. The former Texas pitcher had a save in 2007 with Spokane and in 2011 with Round Rock.

Hunter came to Baltimore in 2011 in a trade and made 11 starts for the Orioles, then started 20 games last year before being moved to the bullpen. That's where Hunter found his current role with the club, and Saturday night he entered in the seventh inning to protect a five-run lead.

"As soon as I came into the game I knew I had a chance to go three innings and get a save," Hunter said. "It's cool, but we won. That's basically what it is. I want to win. Even as a starter, in the bullpen, doing whatever you can to win, that's what it's all about."

FALLEN HEROES: The Orioles honored three families of fallen soldiers before Sunday's game. Manager Buck Showalter was part of the ceremony, which recognized Eldersburg native Sara Knutson Cullen and two others. Cullen's brother, Keith, and family friend Linda Kafchinski, of Eldersburg, were on the field to accept an honorary Orioles jersey and hugs from Showalter. The Orioles observed a moment of silence during the ceremony.

Cullen, 27, was killed in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash March 11. She graduated from Liberty High School in 2003. Also honored before the game were Valerie Cappelaere Delaney of Ellicott City and William Taylor Wild IV of Severna Park.

PITCHING UPDATES: Showalter said Steve Johnson continued his pitching in Sarasota, Fla., and expects the right-hander to make a start Wednesday with Class AAA Norfolk. Johnson has been sidelined with a back injury since spring training.

Meanwhile, Showalter said prized prospect Dylan Bundy is scheduled to begin throwing Monday. Showalter said Bundy, who has been dealing with tightness in his right elbow since late March, is pain-free, and he expects the youngster to be pitching off a mound in about a week.

UP NEXT: Baltimore hosts Toronto in a three-game series beginning Monday to wrap up this current nine-game homestand. The Orioles are slated to throw Chris Tillman on Monday and Miguel Gonzalez on Tuesday, with Wednesday's starter still undecided. The Blue Jays have J.A. Happ, R.A. Dickey, and Brandon Morrow scheduled as their starters.