Maybe it was familiarity that bred Dylan Bundy’s shortest start of the season.
Facing the Red Sox for the fourth time in 52 days, Bundy didn’t make it past the fifth inning due to his triple-digit pitch count and the Orioles lost 5-2 before an announced crowd of 35,470 at Camden Yards.
Bundy hadn’t gone fewer than five innings in 11 starts, but he was pulled with the Orioles behind 2-0. Both runs scored on Hanley Ramirez’s homer with one out in the fourth.
Ubaldo Jiménez surrendered two runs in the eighth and Donnie Hart gave up one in the ninth. Trey Mancini had an RBI double off Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the ninth inning - the first run permitted by Boston’s closer since April 20, but Seth Smith struck out looking as the potential tying run.
Smith is 0-for-6 with five strikeouts lifetime versus Kimbrel, who threw 33 pitches.
The Red Sox had four hits off Bundy, who walked one and struck out four. Manager Buck Showalter removed him after 100 pitches and brought in southpaw Richard Bleier with two of the next three hitters batting from the left side.
Tonight marked only the second time in 12 outings that Bundy didn’t register a quality start.
Heading into the game, Bundy had allowed five runs and 18 hits in 20 1/3 innings against Boston while winning two of three decisions.
The Orioles (29-25) are back in third place, a half-game behind the Red Sox and 3 1/2 behind the Yankees, who won earlier today.
Manny Machado led off the seventh with a home run off David Price to reduce the lead to 2-1. Machado has 12 home runs on the season and half are against the Red Sox.
Machado was 13-for-49 with two doubles, six home runs and 11 RBIs against the Red Sox following his towering fly ball to left field. It didn’t reach the second deck, but it almost brought rain.
Bleier worked two scoreless innings. Jiménez started the eighth and gave up two runs on Mookie Betts’ leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt, Jonathan Schoop’s wide throw to the plate on Xander Bogaerts’ ground ball - the play was scored a fielder’s choice and RBI - and Ramirez’s RBI double.
Jiménez concedes that he tends to struggle in his first inning, which made his insertion into a one-run game in the eighth more of a gamble. Darren O’Day began warming next to him after Machado’s home run, but Jiménez got the call, threw 36 pitches and allowed two runs.
Betts singled off Hart in the ninth to score Deven Marrero, who doubled with one out.
Bundy’s velocity came back for a while. Not to his days before elbow surgery, but his fastball routinely hit 95 mph in the early innings.
Betts led off the game by striking out on a slider, and Bundy stranded Bogaerts after a two-out double. Ramirez led off the second by strikeout out on a changeup, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed by swinging through a 95 mph heater.
Christian Vázquez singled with two outs, the ball eluding a sliding Mark Trumbo in right field, but Pablo Sandoval grounded out.
Two scoreless innings and three strikeouts, but also 42 pitches. Thirty of them were fastballs.
Bundy threw 12 pitches while retiring the side in order in the third, but Mitch Moreland worked him for 11 in the fourth before lining to center field, his at-bat coming after Bogaerts’ leadoff walk. That’s a productive out even if it didn’t advance the runner.
How often does the next hitter benefit from a prolonged at-bat? Ramirez followed with a home run into the left field seats on an 0-2 curveball after Bundy threw a slider and 93 mph fastball.
It was the Orioles’ first deficit in 30 innings.
Ramirez was 3-for-17 lifetime against Bundy before coming to the plate again. Bogaerts is 7-for-20 with two doubles and a home run.
Bundy threw 31 pitches in the fourth to raise his count to 85. Not typical for him this season. He retired the side in order in the fifth, but he also reached triple digits.
Chris Davis led off the fifth with a single, but the Orioles couldn’t do anything with it. Price struck out two batters in the inning.
Five of the eight leadoff hitters reached against Price, who departed after Schoop struck out and made it to first base on a passed ball.
Schoop was erased on a double play, but the Orioles put two aboard against Joe Kelly on singles by pinch-hitter Hyun Soo Kim and Rickard. Red Sox manager John Farrell brought in Kimbrel to face Jones.
Jones was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts lifetime against Kimbrel. Right-handers were 0-for-45 against Kimbrel this season. Jones struck out looking at a 99 mph fastball.
Trumbo singled with one out in the ninth to end Kimbrel’s streak against right-handers at 0-for-47. Davis struck out, Trumbo scored on Mancini’s double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field, Schoop walked, Smith struck out and second place was fun while it lasted.
Showalter on taking Bundy out at 100 pitches: “It was a push to get through five. They had like, 30, 31 foul balls (25)? Kind of did a good job of extending a lot of at-bats and it kind of piled up on him. He pitched well. He pitched well.”
On what made Price so good: “Cutter, making the ball move both ways, commanding the ball. The changeup. The cutter was a big pitch for him, trying to cover it away. Obviously, he’s got plenty of fastball to make you hurry, then the changeup is there and it looks like you kind of think he’s going to get in a pattern and he doesn’t get in a pattern. You try to go over the plate and he comes back in, hard in and the cutter. He’s a guy that’s added a pitch as he’s gone on in his career. He’s one of the best. That’s what they do.”
On tack-on runs: “That was our problem tonight. We only scored one run. If they don’t give us second base, we only score one run. They gave us second base for the second run. The game was about not being able to do much with one of the best pitchers in the game for me.”
On why he used Jiménez: “As opposed to who? That’s it. We’re not going to use Mike Wright, he had two days in a row. Darren and Brachy (Brad Brach) aren’t going to pitch unless we’re ahead. We’re trying to stay away from them. (Mychal) Givens was a no-go tonight. So we had Bleier and them and that’s where we were.
“He’s capable of doing it. Other than his first inning, he did a pretty good job for us last time. Didn’t tonight.”