The velocity was up a tick tonight and the first inning didn’t provide any real challenges for Dylan Bundy. Optimism began to spread over a club waiting for him to again resemble a young starter on the verge of ace-dom.
Luke Voit hit a two-out, two-run homer in the second on a 93 mph heater that stayed over the middle of the plate. The old questions and concerns began to resurface.
The bullpen began to stir by the third, when the Yankees padded their lead with two more runs, and Bundy was done after the fifth in the Orioles’ 94th loss before an announced crowd of 17,343 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles were swept by the Yankees in a four-game series in Baltimore for the first time since August 2003. Their losing streak has reached eight games, lowering their record to 37-94 overall and 21-44 at home.
Trey Mancini led off the bottom of the sixth inning with his 18th home run, a 97 mph fastball from Luis Severino traveling an estimated 438 feet to center field and cutting the lead to 5-2. Severino came out after 5 2/3 innings.
His replacement, Chad Green, let an inherited runner score on Jace Peterson’s two-out RBI single after Tim Beckham reached on Gleyber Torres’ error. Peterson singled twice, walked and stole two bases against his former team.
The Orioles stole four bases, the most since July 3, 2014, after beginning the night ranked 26th in the majors with 48. But they were swept in a four-game series for the fifth time this season.
Bundy allowed four runs and six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over his five innings. He had five strikeouts through the third, four off his slider, but also ran his pitch count to 68 while Yefry Ramírez began to warm. Manager Buck Showalter pulled Bundy after 100 pitches, 59 for strikes.
The fastball touched 94 mph on a couple of offerings in the first inning after residing in the 89-91 mph range in previous starts. Bundy retired the side in order with two strikeouts. But he served up Voit’s two-run homer in the second and Miguel Andújar’s two-run double in the third, both coming with two outs.
The Yankees worked Bundy for 31 pitches in the third. They collected three hits and drew a walk. Bundy also notched two more strikeouts
The 34 home runs surrendered by Bundy are one short of the club record shared by four pitchers, most recently Jeremy Guthrie in 2009.
Four runs off Bundy represent an improvement after he allowed seven earned in each of his last three starts, but his ERA is up to 5.37 in 140 2/3 innings.
Bundy has posted an 11.64 ERA in his last four starts and an 8.87 ERA in nine starts since spraining his ankle in Atlanta.
The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the third inning before Mancini struck out and Adam Jones flied to right. Severino gave up three singles, but Jonathan Villar was called out after laying down a bunt and making contact with the ball as he broke for first base.
Villar’s fly ball in the fifth inning scored Peterson, who walked, stole second base and advanced to third on Caleb Joseph’s groundball to the right side. But Cody Carroll’s wild pitch with, yes, two outs in the sixth scored Voit for a 5-1 lead.
Carroll, acquired from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade, has allowed seven runs and eight hits with nine walks and six strikeouts in nine innings with the Orioles.
Ramírez replaced him tonight and tossed three scoreless innings.
The tying run came to the plate in the seventh inning with one out and Craig Gentry on third base, but Britton struck out Mancini and retired Jones on a grounder.
Britton retired all five batters he faced on a strikeout and four ground balls.
Showalter on Bundy: “I thought his stuff was better. You could tell just velocity, he was a lot crisper. It was improvement. Not where he’s capable of being.
“I thought Yefry was sharp considering he had six days off. He had a couple work days in between. Carroll continues to show good stuff and potential. Just can’t finish off some situations, but he will as he hopefully gains experience.”
Showalter on chance in sixth: “Yeah, we got some people up there. He’s a good pitcher. Just couldn’t cash in. It’s been a challenge for us. We had some more plays that don’t show up in the error column that we didn’t complete and finish that hurt us again, cost us the two-run homer.
“We should have been able to complete those double plays. We had a couple of them and we were fortunate one was real close there. There are a lot of things that we’re not doing defensively that don’t really show up analytically, but they’re there nonetheless.”
Showalter on how to keep players’ hopes up: “Do I worry about them not having incentive? No, I think everybody understands what’s going on and the opportunity they’re getting to show what they’re capable of doing, because there’s going to be a lot of evaluation I’m sure as we go forward on what we have here and what we need to do to continue down the path we need to. So they understand.
“Sometimes, when you’re 23 or 24, it’s easy to say that, but I don’t know, would you realize that at 23 or 24 that the opportunity you’re given is not always going to be there? I’m not going to sit there and beat them up about it, but certainly it’s a good opportunity to evaluate and we’ve got another month or so of it.
“They’ve been told and they know that. Certainly, you’d like to have them get some return with some Ws, but that’s been a challenge putting a lot of games together.”
Showalter on not usually seeing four steals: “You would if we had the skills to do it. If the matchups are there with the pitchers, not necessarily the catchers. These are a lot of the same pitchers we’d like to have taken advantage of if we had the matchups, so to speak, between the skill of your players and the pitchers’ times to the plate.”
Bundy on start: I thought it was a tiny bit better, a step in the right direction. Still two pitches there, and that pretty much cost me the four runs. There was a little bit more to it, but for the most part missing that fastball right over the plate and the home run, double, and that’s pretty much the runs there.”