Dylan Bundy returned to winning form with one of his best starts of the season and a rested Orioles bullpen handled their part of a tense 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before 20,530 fans Friday at the Rogers Centre.
Staked to a 2-0 lead in the second inning by a Chris Davis home run and a run-scoring single by Jonathan Villar, a well-rested Bundy was totally in control against the Blue Jays. Bundy scattered two hits and walked two while striking out six before a two-out home run in the seventh inning by Brandon Drury spoiled his shutout bid and called for the Orioles' bullpen.
“He was really efficient with his pitches,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think he was the same guy. I just thought he made really good pitches, and made one mistake there in the seventh inning. But I thought he was fantastic.”
“The seventh inning, I was just trying to attack Drury there and not walk him or get to a 3-2 count, so just missed my spot on the heater,” Bundy said. “But the slider got better throughout the game, changeup and curveball were there pretty much the whole game.”
That Bundy had his fifth quality start in 16 tries, and first since June 9, was no small consolation. The effort was preserved by a scoreless inning of relief by Richard Bleier, a big out from Miguel Castro against star rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and a clean ninth inning from Paul Fry with closer Mychal Givens still sore from a collision at home plate on Wednesday at Tampa Bay.
Fry's work was made easier by a two-run Orioles ninth, with Davis scoring two with a single after a successful sacrifice bunt by Anthony Santander set the table for him.
Davis keeps it going
When Davis was at his best, the Rogers Centre was a home run haven for him, and Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was a frequent target. Neither had really been the case since 2017, but Davis reprised his old ways for a home run to open the Orioles' two-run second inning.
It was his seventh of the season, and second in three games. His home run Tuesday against Tampa Bay broke a streak of 27 straight games without a home run dating back to May 12.
Friday's was Davis' fifth career home run off Sanchez, and his 20th in Toronto.
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“I think any time that you've had success in a place, you feel a little bit more comfortable there,” Davis said. “That doesn't mean you're always going to continue to have success, but I think if you look back at the track record and know that you've been able to come through in a certain stadium, it gives you a little bit of peace of mind.”
Villar's wild fifth
Villar had two hits and an RBI to help the Orioles' cause, but had the quintessential all-action inning after his fifth-inning single to center field.
The Orioles' envelope-pushing second baseman took a wide turn around first base, drawing a throw back to the bag that hit off his foot as he slid in. The ball scooted away, allowing Villar to go to second.
While there, he took a particularly hard tag to the right hand on a pickoff attempt and spent several minutes nursing that. He ten promptly stole third. However, his aggression off third led to an unconventional double play when Trey Mancini lined out to shortstop and Villar couldn't get back in time.