Angels’ Dylan Bundy ends 10-start drought with victory over Royals – Daily Bulletin

ANAHEIM — Stuck in a 10-start drought without a victory and given a four-run lead before he pitched the second inning, Dylan Bundy was obviously not thrilled with himself when he struggled enough in the second that the bullpen was in action.

“It (ticks) you off anytime you see a guy getting up in the second inning,” Bundy said. “All you can do is try to do better.”

Bundy did just that, righting himself enough to get into the sixth inning with no further damage in the Angels’ 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

It was enough for him to pick up his first victory of 2021, after a career-worst drought. Bundy (1-6)  gave up two runs in 5-2/3 innings.

He admitted afterward that it wasn’t pretty, acknowledging that he’d benefitted from balls finding his fielder’s gloves. Right fielder Kean Wong had leaped at the fence to rob Carlos Santana of a homer in the first, and the Royals continued to hit into bad luck.

“They just started hitting it right to people and that got me some outs,” Bundy said. “I don’t know if it was me getting better or them hitting it right to people.”

Manager Joe Maddon had a more complimentary description of what Bundy did after his rough second inning.

“There was a lot of hard contact,” Maddon said. “He did not seem comfortable. … He didn’t lose his composure. He didn’t lose his confidence. He just kept getting better. I believe the latter part of today’s game is the Dylan Bundy game we’ve been used to and we will expect in the future. I believe it’s a really good game for him to build off.”

Catcher Max Stassi also said Bundy showed more of the stuff that made him the Angels’ best pitcher last season, as opposed to the one who has struggled for much of the past month.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Stassi said. “He’s the same old guy that we’re used to. Everyone kind of goes through things throughout the course of the season. Nobody’s perfect. He works his tail off in between starts and wants to give us the best chance to succeed. I’m extremely happy for him going forward. He’s one of our guys and we’re counting on him big time.”

Bundy was still wobbling when reliever José Suarez started to warm up in the second inning. Suarez was simply standing on the bullpen mound watching as Bundy pitched a perfect third. Suarez then sat down, and Bundy added a perfect fourth and a scoreless fifth.

In the sixth, Bundy gave up a pair of singles and Maddon pulled him, even though he was just at 72 pitches, because he didn’t want to take any chances.

“You don’t want to all of the sudden have a three-run homer where you shrink the lead to the point where now you really have to stress out your bullpen,” Maddon said. “I wanted to be a little proactive there and Chris did a great job.”

That was Chris Rodriguez, who entered for his first appearance after a month on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. He got the final out of the sixth, stranding two runners, before allowing a run in the seventh.

It was a good spot for Rodriguez to shake off the rust because he had the benefit of a five-run lead, thanks to an Angels lineup that got to work early.

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