Dylan Bundy handled the role of stopper tonight, which comes with the staff ace territory, and an offense that’s now showing signs of life rose up in the middle innings to squash a losing streak.
Bundy held the Indians to one run over six innings before his elevated pitch count forced manager Buck Showalter to call upon the bullpen, and the Orioles’ skid stopped at six games with a 3-1 victory before an announced crowd of 20,004 at Camden Yards.
Trey Mancini broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run double to left-center field after Chance Sisco was hit by a pitch and Luis Sardiñas bounced a single into right. However, Mancini exited the game with two outs in the top of the eighth after failing to make a sliding backhanded catch of a foul ball and jamming his right knee below the padding along the wall.
Craig Gentry replaced Mancini, who was grimacing and flexing the leg before walking off the field with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel. Teammates rushed over to him as he laid in the dirt clutching the knee.
Manny Machado homered to center field with one out in the fourth inning - the Orioles’ first hit off Trevor Bauer - to tie the game 1-1. Machado has six homers on the season and three over the past two days.
Tonight marked the first of Machado’s 144 career homers to come on a 3-0 count. Believe it or not.
The Orioles totaled 12 runs in their first six home games. They didn’t unload on the Indians, but Bundy didn’t require much support while finally getting his first win of 2018.
In five starts this season, Bundy has allowed only five earned runs (eight total) and struck out 40 batters in 31 2/3 innings. He fanned nine tonight, the vast majority with his slider, allowed five hits and walked two.
While Richard Bleier warmed in the bullpen, Bundy struck out the side on sliders in the sixth. Roberto Perez was victimized for the third time, seeing only three pitches to run Bundy’s count to 108.
Bleier stranded runners on the corners in the seventh, with Machado making a diving stop up the middle and flipping to ball to Sardiñas to rob Jose Ramirez. He retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out Yonder Alonso one pitch after Mancini’s injury, and lowered his ERA to 0.61.
Darren O’Day registered his first save and the 20th of his career after hitting Rajai Davis with one out, and the Orioles improved to 6-14.
Bundy threw 26 pitches in the first inning and fell behind 1-0 after grazing Edwin Encarnacion’s elbow protector with the bases loaded and one out. The slider resulted in two strikeouts for Bundy, but it also gave the Indians a 1-0 lead.
The Orioles have been outscored 24-5 in the first inning.
The defense broke down again in the first two innings, ran up Bundy’s pitch count and contributed to the deficit.
Sisco chased a pop up from Jason Kipnis in front of the Orioles’ dugout and never laid a mitt on it. Kipnis singled and later scored after a walk, single and hit batter.
Bundy avoided further damage by retiring the last two batters on a shallow fly ball and strikeout, but he needed 26 pitches to get back into the dugout.
Sisco and Tim Beckham had a miscommunication in the second inning that allowed Tyler Naquin’s pop up to drop near the plate. The ball appeared to land in fair territory, but umpire Gage Morales ruled it foul. Naquin singled, but was thrown out trying to steal second base.
No harm for the Orioles, but Bundy was up to 43 pitches.
Bundy stranded Michael Brantley in the third after a two-out double, leaving him at 61 pitches. He struck out Kipnis on a 91 mph fastball.
The slider continues to be Bundy’s most lethal weapon. He owned the highest percentage of swings and misses with it at 35 before tonight.
Naquin lined a single past Bundy’s head with two outs in the fourth, but Bradley Zimmer chased a slider to end the inning. Francisco Lindor drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and swiped second base, but Bundy retired the next three batters. He struck out Kipnis for the second time and Brantley ended the inning by flying out.
Twelve more pitches and Bundy’s night was over. So, too, was the Orioles’ losing streak.