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Twins fall to Tigers as Dylan Bundy concludes season

Minnesota unlikely to pick up the pitcher's $11 million club option

Detroit center fielder Riley Greene touches home plate in the first inning Oct. 1, 2022, against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
Detroit center fielder Riley Greene touches home plate in the first inning Oct. 1, 2022, against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
David Reginek / USA Today Sports
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DETROIT — Amid a season in which their roster was wracked by injuries, veteran Dylan Bundy was a constant for the Twins.

Bundy’s season ended on Saturday night in a familiar way — by doing just enough to keep his team in it long enough to turn the game over to the bullpen, though the Twins did not win on Saturday, falling 3-2 to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, thanks in part to some shaky defense.

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The Twins signed Bundy this offseason to a one-year, $4 million deal with a $1 million buyout or $11 million club option. Saturday’s start is expected to be Bundy’s last as a Twin, as they are unlikely to pick up his option.

“He’s been a very good, positive, stable presence for us,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He has pitched long and we’ve sent him out there for 100+ pitches. We’ve sent him out there for 55 or 60 pitches in a lot of outings, too. We’ve kind of yanked him around in different ways. But he’s such a good — I said it, he’s a good, stable-minded, good presence.”

Bundy finished his season with a 4.89 earned-run average over the course of his team-leading 29 starts. His only trip to the injured list came in May after testing positive for COVID-19.

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In 19 of his 29 starts, Saturday included, he gave up three or fewer runs. Many lasted five innings or just around that mark as he was often pulled, despite a low pitch count, before having a chance to face the opponent’s lineup a third time through.

Bundy gave up two runs on Saturday, one in the first inning after giving up a single to Riley Greene that got past right fielder Matt Wallner, allowing him to advance all the way to third. Bundy then gave up two more hits in that inning. The only other run he gave up came in the fourth, when he surrendered a solo home run to catcher Eric Haase.

Minnesota pitcher Dylan Bundy throws in the first inning Oct. 1, 2022, against the Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Minnesota pitcher Dylan Bundy throws in the first inning Oct. 1, 2022, against the Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit.
David Reginek / USA Today Sports

Bundy, as he did in his last start, made way for rookie Ronny Henriquez, who tossed three innings. The only run Henriquez gave up, an unearned run, came after a throw from Luis Arraez ticked off his glove, allowing Javier Báez to score what would prove to be the game-winning run.

The outing also served as the last chance to look at Henriquez, who made three major league appearances after debuting in September.

While the Twins had their chances, particularly in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with just one out, they finished the day 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The Twins scored both of their runs in the fifth inning, tying the game with a Mark Contreras home run and a Gio Urshela RBI single.

Arraez, who is leading the AL batting race ever so slightly over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, had two hits.

Their 81st loss of the season ensured that the Twins will finish no better than .500 this year.

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA TWINS
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