NEW YORK - Dylan Bundy turned in another quality start for the Orioles tonight, a sweet achievement after the rotation totaled 6 2/3 innings in the last two games. He provided length, but the Orioles couldn’t provide another lead.
The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the second, moved ahead in the sixth and pulled away against relievers Edwin Jackson and Stefan Crichton for an 8-2 victory over the Orioles before an announced sellout crowd of 46,031.
The Orioles (31-28) have lost four of their last six games and are 4 1/2 behind the first-place Yankees in the American League East. They’re 10-18 on the road.
Aaron Hicks broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning after Bundy retired 12 of 13 batters. Bundy hadn’t allowed a hit since Gary Sánchez’s double with no outs in the second.
Hicks homered again in the seventh, a two-run shot off Jackson that increased the lead to 5-2. Jackson has allowed home runs in both of his outings with the Orioles since they selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
Matt Holliday added an RBI double in the seventh and Jackson was removed from the game. All three runs in two-thirds of an inning were unearned following Jackson’s throwing error.
Somebody needs to change that rule.
Crichton let the first five batters reach in the eighth and gave up Austin Romine’s two-run single. He’s still working to transfer his effectiveness from the minors to the majors.
Bundy allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, with two walks, six strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 105 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Bundy has completed six innings in 12 of his 13 starts.
Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery was a little bit better. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced and struck out a career-high eight batters in seven innings.
Jonathan Schoop hit his 11th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Montgomery in the second inning that gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead and increased his team-leading RBI total to 33.
Schoop made contact, lowered his head and broke into his trot, the ball clearing the Orioles’ bullpen in left-center field with lots of room to spare. It traveled 454 feet, according to statcast.
Before tonight, Schoop was batting .308/.346/.545 with eight home runs against right-handers and .238/.314/.460 with two home runs versus left-handers.
The lead didn’t last long.
Starlin Castro led off the bottom of the second inning with his 10th home run. Sánchez doubled over center fielder Adam Jones’ head, took third on a fly ball and scored on Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly to the right field fence.
Shutdown innings continue to elude this pitching staff.
Bundy didn’t allow another hit until Hicks’ home run. He retired 10 in a row before Headley walked with one out in the fifth. A grounder and fly ball got Bundy back in the dugout at 79 pitches.
Rubén Tejada, replacing Manny Machado at third base, collected his first hit as an Oriole with a single in the second inning. He led off the fifth with a double, moved to third on Joey Rickard’s sacrifice bunt and stayed there after Trey Mancini lined to shortstop Didi Gregorius and Jones struck out.
Montgomery had retired eight in a row after Tejada’s single. Made sense for Tejada to end the streak.
Interesting that the Orioles were bunting in that situation and playing for the one run. It’s usually not their style.
Montgomery retired the next nine batters after Tejada’s double.
Down on the farm, catcher Welington Castillo went 0-for-3 for Double-A Bowie before Austin Wynns replaced him in tonight’s game in Trenton. He’s expected to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday, with Francisco Peña likely designated for assignment.
Darren O’Day on shoulder: “Yeah, I think it’s pretty similar to what I had earlier in the season. I felt it Tuesday night against the Pirates. Really, there’s no explanation for why it happened, but it started hurting me, so Buck was able to stay away from me the past couple nights. But we had to make a decision today and I felt like if I pitched tonight it would probably make it worse and I’d be out for longer, so we made the decision.
“Hopefully, it will only be the seven or eight days we have left. Earlier in the season, it took me, I think, five or seven days for it to start feeling a lot better. It felt great, pitched good for, what has it been, five weeks or so? Hopefully, that’s the case again.”
O’Day on next step: “I think it’s just rest. I’m optimistic that it’s just going to be the tenure of the DL because I went through it earlier in the season, so I have an idea of what’s going to happen.”
O’Day on whether discomfort is in same area in shoulder as last year: “Yeah, it’s a similar area. I don’t think it’s quite as bad.”
O’Day on whether he’s wondering why it happened again: “Yeah, you know I’ve been feeling great, pitching good, and yeah, it’s kind of out of nowhere. I wish I knew. We’ll try to figure it out. It’s just something I have to deal with. I’ve had a torn labrum since 2009, so it’s happened a few times in my career. It’s just part of it. It’s not natural to throw as much as we do. We’ll try to figure it out and try to stay on top of it.”
Manager Buck Showalter on Bundy: “Good, real good. Again. Dylan’s been solid. Just couldn’t get much done from that department once he left the game. But he pitched well, like he’s been doing all year for us. It’s frustrating for him. Had a couple of close counts that got turned around with some borderline pitches. There’s a bunch of those. But Dylan presented himself real well again for us.”
Showalter on lack of offense: “I’m always going to give some credit to their pitcher. The young man’s having a good year and throwing the ball well. We’re just not making many adjustments to pitching patterns that we know are there. That’s what’s been a challenge for a lot of clubs, but I’m more interested in ours.
“It’s just, the game’s evolved. It’s a less-than-50-percent-fastball game and there’s no hitting fastball counts, especially when our guys show you they can do that. So, we’re going to have to make that adjustment or we’re going to continue to see that stuff. I think two out of the last 10 pitchers we’ve seen throw more than 50 percent fastballs. You can talk about it and talk about it. But there are no fastball counts anymore. It’s more than that, but we get behind in the count ... we get a two-run homer and that’s it. It’s been a challenge for us.”
Showalter on bullpen: “Dylan pitched well. It seemed like once he got out of the game we couldn’t get much done to ... They’re a good offensive club. What have they got, three or four guys hitting .300? They’re doing a lot of good things offensively, so they’re going to pounce on mistakes. But some guys get an opportunity coming up. They need to take advantage of it, because we have a need.”
Showalter on whether he needs to add another pitcher: “I don’t think so. We should get Mike (Wright) back tomorrow, and Edwin (Jackson) can pitch again. I wanted to give (Richard) Bleier a day if I could today, unless we were in a potential winning situation with the lead, but he’s pitched two days in a row. I think we’ll have most of our people, but we need a quality start. With Darren out, we need to stay competitive for seven innings.”
Showalter on needing someone to step up without O’Day: “Seek a person who can do it? I think that’s what we’ve been doing. We lost Darren and, whether it’s Zach (Britton) or Castillo or whoever, we don’t let that creep in.
“We don’t talk about it. Have to answer the questions and I appreciate you searching for one, but I look at it as guys getting an opportunity and you better remember what you did to get here and let it rip when you get here. But the good offensive clubs in the American League East can put you on your heels. But there’s a job there for somebody and we just haven’t had anybody grasp it.”
Showalter on Castillo: “I haven’t gotten the final, but I know the trainer texted Richie and said seven innings, three at-bats, no problems, so we’ll see. I’m going to talk to him here shortly when he gets back to the hotel.”
Bundy on how he felt: “I felt great. The first two innings I felt like I was a little rusty with fastball command. I didn’t hit on some guys that I needed to, and then I got in the groove there after the second inning.”
Bundy on what clicked: “Just being out there. That’s what it takes. Just being on the mound and getting comfortable out there. Sometimes, it takes an inning, sometimes it takes a couple of pitches, sometimes it takes the whole game. You never know. After that second inning, I felt a little better out there.”
Bundy on facing Yankees: “It’s a tough lineup over there, obviously, so you’ve just got to make quality pitches from the get-go. And I didn’t really do that in the second inning, or in the sixth, against Hicks.”
Bundy on Hicks’ home run: “I got him out the previous at-bat with a change-up, I think, so I think he was kind of looking for it, especially in a fastball count. He was looking for that change-up, and he got it. It was a quality pitch, but it wasn’t down enough where I wanted it, so he was able to get to it.”