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'Birds' Bundy extends hitless streak
04/24/2012 10:25 PM ET
Forty batters have stepped in to face Dylan Bundy this season. Not one has gotten a hit.

Bundy, his legend growing with each pitch, struck out six over a career-high four innings on Tuesday, dueling with fellow 2011 first-rounder Matt Barnes in Class A Delmarva's 4-2 win over Greenville.

"It felt a lot better to go four innings," Bundy said. "To finally get into the flow of the game, it felt great."

Batters are 0-for-39 this season facing Dylan Bundy -- Hagerstown's Billy Burns owns the distinction thus far as the only Minor Leaguer to reach base against him after drawing a two-out walk last week.

He brushed aside the stats, though. The streaks and numbers are just that.

"I feel like I'm just going out there and getting work in," he said. "Working my secondary pitches and just going out and being a pitcher every game."

Bundy's numbers tell the story: He's hit 99 mph routinely with his fastball, he's struck out 21 batters in 13 innings and he's only 19 years old.

The Oklahoma native said he wasn't sure what the radar gun had him at Tuesday, but he also wasn't too concerned. He's gradually working in more off-speed pitches as the season goes on, though. Which is more bad news for hitters.

"Today, I had a lot more changeups than I normally throw," he said. "I felt more comfortable throwing them against both right-handers and lefties."

Bundy also worked in a few curveballs when the situation allowed.

"I only threw three curves today, and I usually throw more than that, but I kept it at three today," he said.

Tuesday's matchup lived up to the hype, with Bundy going up against Barnes in a pairing that Orioles and Red Sox fans hope could one day be reality in the Majors. Barnes also has yet to allow a run this season. He struck out nine over five scoreless frames Tuesday, running his streak to 21.

"I know when he threw, most of his misses were down as well like me," Bundy said. "He's as strong a pitcher as me, he's keeping the ball down, throwing that big curveball."

Barnes, the No. 19 overall pick last year, has allowed nine hits over 21 scoreless innings this season with Greenville. He has 34 strikeouts and has walked four, but has been allowed to go deeper into games.

Bundy has been handled carefully since the Orioles selected him No. 4 overall last June. He was held to three-inning starts in each of his first three outings, throwing mostly fastballs. Tuesday marked the longest outing of his pro career -- Cody Koback and Garin Cecchini went down swinging around a popup by Blake Swihart, another 2011 first-rounder, in the fourth inning.

The right-hander said he will get two more starts at the four-inning limit before being bumped up to five. Beyond that, the Orioles haven't shared any broad plans.

"They don't really discuss it at this point," he said. "They keep it inside the organization for the most part, and I'm not worried about it either."

Orioles fans have been vocal this month with each of his starts, with some rumors in Baltimore suggesting Bundy could be on the Orioles' roster by the end of this season.

What does Bundy, less than a year removed from Owasso (Okla.) High School, think about the growing hype and attention?

"I like to keep it in the media, I don't try to pay attention to it," he said. "I'm not too concerned with it."

Shorebirds manager Ryan Minor called his righty "special" and "polished" on Tuesday.

"Even through my playing days, this is one of the most polished guys I've seen," Minor told MASN. "It seemed effortless for him and you don't realize he is throwing as hard as he does, whether it's 97, 98, touching 99 mph or whatever. It doesn't look like that because he is not a max effort guy. He's got a good, consistent delivery with good balance."

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