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Bundy dominant again in second start
04/11/2012 10:47 PM ET
Dylan Bundy's numbers in two starts speak for themselves -- 12 strikeouts. No hits in six innings. No walks allowed either.

And 99. As in the number he reached on the radar gun Wednesday night.

Bundy posted the same line Wednesday as he did in his professional debut, striking out six over three perfect innings before handing the game to the bullpen, but Class A Delmarva fell to Kannapolis, 2-1.

For Bundy, the Orioles' first-round pick last summer, the bar couldn't have been set much higher from his pro debut five days ago.

"Tonight was the exact same thing," Bundy said. "Going into each start, they want me to work on my changeup. I'm going out there throwing changeups and curveballs when I don't even need to."

Translation: Hitters can't even touch Bundy's fastball, never mind get wood on a curve.

Baltimore's top pitching prospect is on a short leash as he begins his career. The Orioles are going to hold him to three-inning starts for awhile, before bumping him up to four- and five-inning outings. It's more the innings than pitch counts, at this point.

Keeping that in mind, Bundy picked apart the Kannapolis lineup in his limited appearance Wednesday. He struck out the side in the third en route to whiffing the final five batters he faced. In six innings this season, the right-hander has 12 strikeouts without a walk in six hitless frames.

"I'm trying to throw quality pitches down in the zone," said Bundy, who sat around 95 mph with his fastball all night. "And I wanted to work on my changeups."

Bundy worked a 1-2-3 first before striking out Rangel Ravelo and Keenyn Walker swinging to end the second. He struck out Dusty Harvard, Mark Haddow and Collin Kuhn in the third before taking a seat.

"The first inning was all fastballs," he said. "Second inning, the first batter, I threw two changeups. I threw one fastball and got the grounder out."

Bundy remembered each of his pitches.

"Third inning, I threw a changeup to the lefty (Harvard), and then two curveballs to strike him out."

Reliever Trent Howard worked the next four innings, holding the Intimidators to a run on two hits before Matt Taylor was reached for the decisive run in the eighth to suffer the loss.

For Bundy, whose older brother, Bobby, threw a gem of his own Wednesday, it was another small step in a promising career that already has Orioles fans buzzing.

"I feel great," he said. "I know I'm at three-inning starts, and I feel like I'm getting warmed up and and into a groove, and they pull me out. But we have a plan and they're sticking to it, and I'm fine with it."

Bundy, 19, threw 31 pitches in his start Wednesday after needing 43 to post the same line last week. His brother, Bobby, earned his first win of the year for Double-A Bowie, also an Orioles affiliate, with two hits over six innings to beat Richmond.

Bundy said he caught up with his brother Wednesday, and the pair have been talking regularly about pitching and beyond.

"We texted a little today. He said he had some contact on ground balls, said he really pitched well," Bundy said. "We usually talk once a week, text -- we keep in touch, and let each other know how we're doing, how we feel."

For the younger Bundy, he'll take the ball in five more days with a chance for a pieced-together perfect game of sorts, assuming the Orioles resist the urge to let him go past three frames. Either way, he's enjoying the ride.

"It's fun getting out of Spring Training and instructionals -- instructs was similar to Spring Training -- so it's nice to get out there and face real guys and have a win-loss record. To watch guys compete, crowds ... it's a whole lot more fun being on a team playing games and bonding with your teammates."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.