Dylan Bundy was perfect tonight for 5 1/3 innings. The outcome was flawed, but Bundy showed that he belonged in the rotation in the heat of a pennant race.
The Orioles couldn’t cover for the two home runs Bundy surrendered in the sixth and fell to the Rockies 3-1 for only their second home series loss of the season.
Bundy retired the first 16 batters, striking out a career-high eight. Mark Reynolds walked with one out in the sixth and Nick Hundley, another former Oriole, crushed a 1-2 changeup for a 2-0 lead.
David Dahl hit his first major league home run with two outs in the sixth and Mychal Givens replaced Bundy, who threw a career-high 89 pitches. Both home runs came off changeups that hung over the plate.
Manny Machado hit his 21st home run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Orioles couldn’t do anything else with Rockies right-hander Jon Gray. They’ve scored 43 runs in the last 15 games for an average of 2.87 runs per contest.
Matt Wieters thought he homered over the right field foul pole in the third. So did everyone else with the Orioles, but their challenge fell on blind eyes.
Wieters later doubled and had to settle for a single and a costly out after his double was overturned. Replay wasn’t working for the Orioles tonight.
First base umpire Vic Carapazza worked tonight, but probably shouldn’t have been paid.
The Blue Jays and Red Sox also lost today, leaving the Orioles with a two-game lead in the American League East as they board their flight for Minnesota.
Here’s a sampling from manager Buck Showalter.
“Dylan was really good. Solid. Got to get into another inning that he hadn’t been into, got to throw a couple more pitches than he’d thrown. He was good. Just elevated a couple changeups. He was the reason we were in that game. Impressive.”
More on Bundy’s progression:
“Dylan is a watcher. He’s an absorber. He’s alert. He watches his teammates. You can sit there and talk to him about something happening in the game and he’ll know about it. He’s soaking it in. He knows it’s about more than just about throwing. It’s been fun to watch him grasp the things he’s been exposed to and run with them.”
On how Bundy’s pitch sequence is sign of maturation:
“I think watching a guy like Chris Tillman, there’s no sequence, no pattern. We just didn’t swing the bats. Dylan has tunnel vision. It doesn’t matter if we’re swinging the bats or not, he’s going to have the same approach. Very mature for his age. He’s really taken the opportunity and all the things that have happened to this point. It’s good to see him get a return for it. He’s not thinking about anything but getting people out.”
On whether offense is showing midseason fatigue:
“We’re well past that. I think this is game 100. Yeah, of course. Everybody is. There’s a team that’s one of the best statistical teams in baseball that scored 3 runs tonight, and that’s part of it. You know, we fought through it. It’s hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching’s been better, and we’ve been in more games. That’s why we have a lead in our division right now, because we’ve had other parts of the game pick it up.”
On the Wieters home run call and others:
“I thought it was a home run. I think everybody felt like it was a home run. I actually thought the guy was out at first, but they overturned that one, too. I was really surprised at that one. He didn’t beat the play. At the very best, he tied the play, which is not beating the play. I was surprised they overturned that, and I was surprised that they didn’t have a quick home run call on that one.
“I’m not real sure what they’re looking at. We got a real good definitive shot that it’s a home run. Sometimes you’re kind of stuck with what the original call was, even though you know in your heart that it was wrong.”
On missing out on the fourth inning scoring opportunity:
“That was a key. That was tough. (Gray) was good. We knew coming in that he was good. He pounded the ball a lot on the inner half. That’s why he was the third pick in the country. Kevin (Gausman) was fourth in ‘12. That’s what you get when you’re picking there.
“He’s really good. He’s an Oklahoma kid that’s big, strong, lot of repertoire. Good slider, too, that he didn’t throw as much as he normally does because he had such good command of the fastball on the inner half.”
On Chris Davis bunting for a hit and whether we’ll see more of it:
“If it’s there to him. We talked to him about it. It’s one thing to do it, it’s another thing to execute it. It’s not easy when a guy’s throwing 96, 97 to step up there and bunt a ball over there. I think a lot depends on the pitcher he’s facing, how he feels against him. We’ve got a lot of guys that obviously struggled against Gray tonight.”