CHICAGO - The struggling Orioles offense got a jump-start in the Chicago sunshine this afternoon. It came via the continued control issues of young Chicago White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito. O’s right-hander Dylan Bundy wouldn’t need a lot of offense this afternoon, but he got it anyway. He pitched a complete-game two-hitter.
Giolito began the day tied for the American League lead in walks and issued three - two with the bases loaded - as the Orioles took a 4-0 lead in the first. They led 9-0 by the third inning and beat the White Sox 9-3 in front of 19,147 at Gauranteed Rate Field to split this four-game series.
But Bundy was truly the game’s star. He fanned a career-high 14 batters and was dealin’ Dylan today. He now has 301 career strikeouts as a starter. He is the fastest pitcher ever to 300 as an O’s starting pitcher. Today is his 53rd career start. Tom Phoebus got to 300 in his 54th start in 1968.
Bundy today became the first Orioles pitcher to strike out at least 14 batters in a game since Erik Bedard had 15 on July 7, 2007.
Even though the Orioles scoring plenty of early runs made him sit on the bench a while between innings, Bundy was very sharp from the start. He fanned two batters in each of the first four innings and needed just 38 pitches to set down the first nine to face him.
He didn’t give up his first hit until the fourth. But it came with two men on as José Rondon hit a three-run homer and the O’s lead was 9-3 at that point. Bundy almost got out of that inning with another zero when he fanned Daniel Palka with two outs and a man on. But he reached on a wild pitch on the strikeout and Rondon came up, hitting a slider for his second home run.
Over nine innings, Bundy allowed two hits and three runs with one walk and 14 strikeouts. He needed 121 pitches to improve to 3-6 with an ERA of 4.45.
Adam Jones and Manny Machado singled with one out in the first, and three batters later, Pedro Álvarez and Craig Gentry drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks for the 2-0 edge. A lead that grew to 4-0 on Chance Sisco’s two-run single to left.
When Trey Mancini and Jones led off the second with back-to-back homers, the lead was 6-0 and Giolito was not long for the game. He began the day at 3-4 with an ERA of 6.42 and allowed six hits and seven runs with three walks and a hit by pitch in 1 1/3 innings. Of his 54 pitches, just 27 found the strike zone.
Mancini connected off a 3-2 Giolito fastball for his seventh homer and Jones hit No. 9 on a 1-0 fastball.
The O’s added on against reliever Chris Beck in the third. They got RBI singles by Machado and Álvarez for a 9-0 advantage. That was a nice run of early offense for a team that had scored just six runs in the first three games of this series and just 19 their last eight games.
So a day that began with some controversy, as Chris Davis responded to Jim Palmer’s criticism last night on the MASN telecast, ended with a victory.
The Orioles are 3-5 on this road trip which has three games to go against Tampa Bay this weekend. They are 16-34 for the year and 6-21 away from Oriole Park. Today represented just their third road victory in their past 20 games.
On Friday night at Tropicana Field, right-hander David Hess (1-1, 6.75 ERA) is expected to start for the Orioles. The Rays are planning to start reliever Sergio Romo (1-0, 4.34) to pitch an inning or two before another pitcher enters the game.