Jim Thome likes what he saw from Orioles stud prospect Dylan Bundy

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Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy is arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball and has advanced to Double-A as a 19-year-old after beginning the season at low Single-A.

Jim Thome was on hand for the 2011 first-round pick’s Double-A debut earlier this week, sitting behind home plate while on the disabled list for a herniated disk in his neck, and the future Hall of Famer came away extremely impressed:

He might be one of the best young pitchers I’ve seen in quite a while. He’s got so much upside to him. He looks like a great pitcher. He’s got a great arm, and it’s fun. It’s fun going down there seeing him. He’s obviously got a big, bright career ahead of him.

Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Thome made the trek to Bowie at the request of Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who wanted a first-hand report. And here’s the thing about Thome being so impressed by Bundy: It was one of his worst starts, as he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 5.1 innings.

Overall this season–his first as a pro–Bundy has a 2.01 ERA and 106/22 K/BB ratio in 90 innings.

Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day disabled list with neck inflammation

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The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.

Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.

It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.