For Orioles reliever Dylan Bundy, his extended outing Thursday was a minor breakthrough, though it would have been a lot more rewarding if Seattle Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin hadn't spoiled it with an otherwise insignificant ninth-inning home run.
Bundy pitched three innings for the first time this season and continues to stretch out gradually after spending the past couple of seasons recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction. This was another small step, but he viewed it as an important one in his attempt to evolve back into a starting pitcher.
"The longest one, since I think Boston [on April 12]," Bundy said. "It was good, felt good out there, just made one mistake mainly on the home run. Go from there, I guess."
He gave up a leadoff single to Martin after coming into the game in the seventh inning, then retired the next seven batters in a row before Ketel Marte doubled and Martin took Bundy deep. The two earned runs might have taken some of the luster off his appearance, but his 2.76 ERA in 11 relief appearances is proof that he is moving in the right direction.
"Whatever lies in the future, that's fine," Bundy said. "I'm just happy to get three innings under my belt now, especially at this level. ... My arm's holding up well, knock on wood — I'm not getting too sore. As long as I can keep the soreness down and bounce back like I have been, this year should be fun."
Manager Buck Showalter has said that the end game could be stretching Bundy out to return to the starting rotation. But Bundy said he's happy being a jack-of-all-trades in the bullpen, where he has pitched in a variety of situations.
"I think I like the term jack-of-all-trades," Bundy said. "If he says start, I'll start. I don't really care what role it is — this year, especially — just getting a full year under my belt healthy and I'll be happy."
Around the horn
Orioles starter Tyler Wilson matched a career high with three walks over his six innings Thursday. … Shortstop Manny Machado had just one hit in 23 at-bats before hitting a double in the third inning Thursday. He also walked in four trips to the plate. … Outfielder Joey Rickard has reached base in 12 consecutive games in which he has had a plate appearance. … Catcher Caleb Joseph threw out two runners attempting to steal Thursday and now has caught six of 20 this year (30 percent). In his career, he has thrown out a respectable 35.6 percent.