Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy began tonight fourth in the American League in ERA and had allowed just one homer in five starts, covering 31 2/3 innings. He’s been the ace for the Orioles early this year.
But his great run to start the 2018 season ended as the Orioles lost again. Bundy allowed a career-high eight runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Orioles 9-5 at Oriole Park.
Baltimore has fallen to 6-19 and lost five in a row, 11 of 12 and 13 of its last 15 games. The Orioles are 1-5 on this homestand and 3-9 at home for the season.
For the Orioles, this is their worst start after 25 games since going 2-23 in 1988.
Two of the first seven batters Bundy faced tonight homered. C.J. Cron blasted a 92 mph fastball 425 feet to center for a two-run shot two batters into the first. It was his sixth homer and he has 10 RBIs over his past four games. An inning later, Wilson Ramos hit a two-run shot for the early 4-0 lead.
Bundy had allowed five earned runs through his first five starts and today was down 4-0 in the second. The Rays added two more runs in the third and knocked Bundy out during a two-run top of the fifth. The Rays went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Bundy pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits (also a career high) and seven earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches and is now 1-3 with an ERA of 2.97. The Orioles are 2-4 in his six starts.
Down 6-0, the Orioles scored twice in the third off Rays righty Chris Archer. Trey Mancini drove in the first run with an RBI double and scored the second on Manny Machado’s single to right, which gave him a team-leading 18 RBIs.
Down 8-2 in the fifth, Adam Jones hit a two-run homer to left-center off Archer and the Orioles were down 8-4. It was homer No. 4 for Jones. It was also his 557th career extra-base hit as an Oriole and tied Boog Powell for fifth on the club’s all-time list.
Danny Valencia homered to left in the eighth off Sergio Romo to pull the Orioles within 8-5. But that inning ended on Mancini’s double play grounder. The Orioles hit into inning-ending double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Tampa Bay has won six in a row, its longest streak since July 2014. The Rays (10-13) sweep this rain-shortened two-game series and have won nine of their last 11 against the Orioles. The Orioles host Detroit over the weekend as this homestand continues.
Jones on whether the Orioles can still turna round this season: “Well, all you have to do is have a next month of 19-6 and then you are back to .500. And have another good month and another good month. It starts tomorrow by getting a win. We just have to win every inning. Right now, we are not winning the innings. It sucks, but the guys in here are not down on themselves or mad about a lack of effort. It is just professionals understanding the other team drives nice cars, too. Sometimes we are the ones getting beat up on, but we’ve done a lot of beating up of other teams.”
Jones on the offense showing signs of life in this series: “We’ve been swinging the bats better the last couple of nights. It hasn’t resulted in any Ws, unfortunately. At this point, we’ve got to try and find anything that is positive. We put up 14 hits tonight and we had more hits than them.
“We are all frustrated. The fans are frustrated. Trust me, if the fans are frustrated, we’re a lot more frustrated. We know that this is just an unfortunate occurrence and we have to keep grinding through it. That is as cliché as it gets. But there is nothing really else you can do besides continue to grind it out and come out each day with energy. Try to eliminate the big inning and have big innings on offense and try to continue to pass the baton.
Jones on the late double plays that hurt: “We put ourselves in a good situation to tie the game and that’s a positive. We didn’t execute and there’s the negative. We put ourselves in the position. I know people are tired of hearing that, but we don’t care. We are the ones out there doing it. Right now, we are not getting that big hit and it’s not from a lack of effort.”
Bundy on whether the home runs hurt: “Yeah, I’d say so. Down 4-0 by the second inning, that’s pretty tough to get out of. I just didn’t really have good command tonight. I just didn’t have it tonight. So I’ll come back into work tomorrow and try to get better.”
Bundy on the 6-19 start: “We need to pull it together and start winning some games. Obviously, we didn’t want to start off this slow, so we’ve just got to play better baseball.”
Valencia on the pulse of the team: “It’s obviously disappointing. We’d be lying if we said this is where we thought we would be at the beginning of the season. We kind of gave ourselves a decent hole. This is the type of team that’s pretty resilient. We have a lot of good players in here. It’s easy to forget about that because you see the wins and the losses. I strongly believe that we have the capability of getting on a streak. It starts tomorrow, winning one and hopefully build some momentum.”