DETROIT - Dylan Bundy’s streak of quality starts ended today at eight games. It went down with a loud crash, the only salvageable part being that the bullpen wasn’t overused.
Bundy allowed a career-high six runs in six innings, with J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez homering off him, and the Orioles fell to the Tigers 6-5 at Comerica Park.
Smith delivered a solo shot off Blaine Hardy in the seventh inning to reduce the Tigers’ lead to 6-5. Smith is 3-for-6 against left-handers this season to raise his career average to .204.
Jones’ bases-empty shot off Jordan Zimmermann and two outs in the fifth inning broke a 3-3 tie, but Victor Martinez unloaded in the bottom half after J.D. Martinez walked with one out.
J.D. Martinez, who homered twice on Tuesday, hit a three-run shot off Bundy in the third inning to tie the score 3-3. Bundy had allowed two runs in the third in his first four starts, but Martinez trumped that total with one swing.
There was no more margin for error if Bundy wanted to extend his streak.
Alex Avila led off the fourth inning with a double, but Bundy stranded runners on the corners. Avila doubled again in the fifth to score Justin Upton and increase the Tigers’ lead to 6-4.
Bundy didn’t surrender a home run in his first four starts, but teams have connected off him in four of the last five. They’ve totaled six home runs in that stretch.
J.D. Martinez’s home run came after José Iglesias led off the inning with a double and Nick Castellanos reached with one out on an infield hit, the ball skipping under Ryan Flaherty’s glove as he charged it.
Bundy allowed eight hits, walked four batters and struck out three. He did maintain his streak of completing six innings.
Bundy surrendered five runs in four of his last eight starts in 2016. Today marked his career high.
Miguel Castro followed up his scoreless inning last night by blanking the Tigers in the seventh and eighth, getting by despite walking three batters. Does he stay on the 25-man roster for Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards? He’s probably not available for at least a few days.
Zimmermann started off Davis with three consecutive four-seam fastballs in the first inning ranging from 92-93 mph. He followed up an 81 mph curveball with an 86 mph slider - shaking off the kitchen sink - and Davis took it for a ride.
When Davis is going good, he hits the ball to all fields. However, he also can pull it into the right field seats. He isn’t shy.
As Davis rounded the bases, he had his eighth hit in his last 16 at-bats over five games, with two doubles, five home runs, nine RBIs, five walks and eight runs scored.
Smith homered after beating a ball into the dirt in his previous at-bat and having it kick back up and nail him below the left eye.
Pretty much sums up the road trip.
Also, Showalter said Manny Machado’s finger is pretty sore and he isn’t sure whether the third baseman will return to the lineup on Friday.
Showalter on Bundy: “Just made a couple mistakes. In other ballparks there would have been a whole lot of home runs today. But I think the three-run homer, we’ve got a guy who’s putting a good swing on just about anything thrown and got burned by that. He was pitching pretty well up to that point. Got a lot of borderline pitches didn’t go his way, turned some counts around, but he’s been real good for us.
“The first month of the season, pitching kind of offset some of the challenges we had offensively. And now we seem to be finding our step a little bit there and pitching’s been a little less on this trip.”
Showalter on Bundy going six innings: “Because he managed his pitch count a little bit. He felt good. That’s the second time in a row he’s had an extra day’s rest, so that was good. We continue to give a couple guys a blow who need it, so I think we’re looking forward to getting back and having a rested bullpen starting a homestand.”
Showalter on natural flow of season where one aspect is clicking and other isn’t: “I wish we could lock it all up and everything’s clicking - defense, offense, pitching. But that’s part of a long season. And when you get in those stretches where everything clicks, you put together a really good streak, which we really did for the most part in April, which tells you how important the pitching part is of it. Because with hitting, sometimes you run into some really good pitchers.
“If you look at the starting pitchers we faced for the first month and we have the hardest ranked schedule for the first month and a half. So, all and all, the guys have handled the challenge pretty good, but we had a tough spell here on this trip.”
Showalter on Jones fly ball that died at left-center field fence: “It seemed like there were about 10 balls hit out in that same little triangle out there. Everybody’s playing in the same ballpark. They had some balls that would have been home runs in most parts in center field, too. I actually think we were a little more fortunate than they were.”
Showalter on frustration of six one-run losses on trip: “Yeah, it seems like every time we do some things offensively, we go out there and kind of give it back up. Those shutdown innings haven’t been there for us, and to get the opportunity to get back in the dugout and try to add on. It seems like we’re always trying to dig ourselves out of a hole.”
Showalter on starters being better at home: “That’s pretty traditional with all pitchers, but those things equal out. Our guys are capable of pitching home and away. We’ve got some guys who actually statistically are off to a good start and some guys who aren’t who are capable of a lot better, so that bodes well.”
Showalter on whether Machado will play Friday: “We’ll see. His finger is pretty sore today. Had some swelling today. Richie (Bancells) thinks it might manage, but we’ll see. One of he and (Jonathan) Schoop and Hardy were going to get the day (off).
“He said he felt it just hitting a couple balls off the bat. We used to call it growing up the bat rattles. It just hasn’t gotten any better. Thinking about the three possibilities, I thought he was in the most need of it.
“It’s affecting his throwing more than anything. It could be affecting some of the things offensively, but just gripping the baseball was tough on him today.”
Showalter on Smith: “I was going to have to pinch-hit for him. I’m sure you noticed Kim was on deck. Got some blurry vision, eye watering. Real windy day. He had some swelling, kept ice on it between innings. I think it was more tearing up. I wasn’t going to put him up there when a guy’s throwing that hard and he’s not able to see properly. Was good for the home run though. That was a long ball.”
Smith on his eye: “Eye itself is all right. Vision is a little blurry. Didn’t hit me in the eye. I imagine there’s something pushing on it. But I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.”
Smith on whether eye bothered him later: “When it first happened it didn’t, and then in the outfield the next inning I noticed it. And then it got a little blurry.”
Smith on whether it was a scary moment: “It wasn’t really scary. As soon as it hits, you don’t know what happened and then it didn’t hit me in the eye. I went down, but it really didn’t hit me that hard, either. It wasn’t fun, but not scary.”
Bundy on outing: “They hit two homers and they seemed to cost me with runners on base and they hit the ball out of the ballpark. Really, those doubles down the line, unlucky for me, I guess. Quality pitch but not a quality result.”
Bundy on his struggles: “I wasn’t commanding the ball very well and they made me pay for it. Three pitches I left up in the zone and they were able to hit two of them out of the park and that cost me a lot today.”
Bundy on going six innings: “The hard part is when the team got the lead, it seemed like I gave it up every inning after we got the lead. That can’t happen and I’ve got to do a better job. Getting through six, yeah, that’s huge for our bullpen, even though giving up six runs, making it through six.”
Bundy on feeling among starters that bad stretch must end: “Yeah, absolutely. Nobody wants to give up runs as much as we are, but it happens. That’s baseball and it’s part of it. That’s why we play 162 and not 42 or wherever we’re at.”
Jones on the one-run losses: A one-run loss means something could just have been flipped and been changed. That’s all it means. It’s not like we’ve been blown out. It’s just a flip of the coin. We could be 6-1 or 7-0. I look at it like we played three good teams. I think that we would have obviously wanted a better outcome, but one-run losses, when you’re playing one-run games, it means you’re playing good baseball. You’re playing tight baseball.
“I tip my cap to my teammates for grinding it out. I know 1-6 isn’t what we want, but it’s not 0-7. It could be worse. But just trying to find some light out of it. We played good ball. Obviously, there’s some frustrating moments in the last six games that we played, but we still grinded out and played together. Just small little things could have bounced our way, we could have had a little better trip.”
Jones on ball that almost went out: “I thought I hit it good enough. Caught it off the end a little bit, but with how it was flying, I caught it off the end and thought I had it good enough. But it didn’t get out, so it doesn’t matter what I think.”
Jones on Bundy: “He’s been going out there and throwing strikes, using his defense. Today, J.D. is swinging the bat great. Victor is always lurking. Tip your cap. Those are major league veterans over there, too. They’ve got to eat.”
Jones on swings in the season: “It’s 162 games. If you’re in sync for 162, you’ll be 162-0. But since that’s never happened, I think we just grind it out.”