Was sore knee behind Bundy's 7-run frame?

Position player Wilkerson pitches 1-2-3 inning to close game

July 13th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- In his first start of the season’s second half, had a forgettable first inning against the Rays at Oriole Park.

Bundy, who allowed just a run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings in his final first-half start, was pulled after giving up seven runs off eight hits in the first inning in the Orioles’ 16-4 loss on Friday. It was his shortest start of the season.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Bundy was experiencing some knee soreness.

“We were just checking on him after the first inning,” Hyde said. “We just wanted to see how he was physically and he said he was a little sore, so we decided to get him out of the game.”

Bundy, whose record fell to 4-11, said he felt some discomfort during the early stages of his warmup, but he didn’t seriously contemplate asking out of the start.

“There might have been a slight thought in there,” Bundy said. “You always want to go out there and give your team a chance and hopefully it will get better throughout the game, but it just didn’t today.”

It wasn’t the worst start of Bundy’s career. On May 8, 2018, he allowed seven runs on five hits, including four home runs, to the Royals, and left without retiring a batter.

In this start, he didn’t want to use the knee as an excuse, but there was no question it affected him.

“My knee’s a little sore, but I just wasn’t locating and didn’t really have any good movement on my pitches,” Bundy said. “They came out aggressive and hitting the ball where there’s plenty of grass, and I couldn’t slow them down.”

Bundy retired leadoff batter Austin Meadows on a grounder to second, then allowed four straight hits, beginning with Tommy Pham’s 14th home run of the season. After striking out Avisail Garcia, Bundy gave up four more hits and also threw a wild pitch.

“You’re going to have little things like that.” Bundy said. "You just try to go out there and give your team a chance, and I wasn’t able to stay in the game long enough to do that.”

Bundy said that he would get his knee checked on Saturday, but hopes for the best and to improve his next time out.

“Quit giving up hits," Bundy said. “Trying to hit your location better, throw different pitches. You’re just really trying to do whatever you can to get them to hit the ball right to somebody or get a strikeout.”

relieved Bundy to start the second. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits.

The Orioles equaled their season high by allowing 16 runs. The 20 hits they allowed were the most they’ve given up.

Their best pitcher, statistically, was utility man Stevie Wilkerson, who pitched for the first time in his Major League career. Wilkerson retired the Rays on three foul balls in the ninth. He became the 31st pitcher used by the Orioles this season, a club record. He’s also the fourth position player to be used as a pitcher by the Orioles.

“That's one of the better innings from a position player I've ever seen,” Hyde said. “A guy able to throw strike after strike. Got guys to swing the bats early. I'm taking that as a positive tonight.”