Actor Barry Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game at Camden Yards. He didn’t walk or hit anyone, which made him more effective and much safer than Dodgers starter Rich Hill.
Then again, television’s Greg Brady hadn’t gone this long without throwing off a mound. His arm is fine.
Williams is making the major league rounds, with Baltimore his latest stop. Maybe he’s the reason for all of the traffic angst earlier today. A Very Brady Gridlock.
Hill, meanwhile, hadn’t started since June 19 due to a forearm flexor strain. He retired the first two batters on strikeouts, then he hit Trey Mancini, walked Anthony Santander, hit Renato Núñez and walked Austin Hays to force in a run and set the bullpen wheels in motion.
He also set the tone for the weirdness that would define the game.
The Orioles lost the lead in the top of the second inning and didn’t get a hit until Pedro Severino’s leadoff homer in the fifth off Tony Gonsolin. The Dodgers created another tie in the sixth against Dylan Bundy, scored twice on a strikeout/passed ball and won 4-2 before an announced crowd of 12,746.
The win total holds at 47 against 99 losses as the Orioles head to Detroit for four games.
Bundy struck out Russell Martin in the sixth with the bases loaded, two outs, the count full and rain falling. But a 2-2 tie was broken when the ball glanced off Severino’s mitt and rolled to the backstop.
Cody Bellinger scored and Corey Seager followed for a 4-2 lead while Bundy failed to cover the plate. Richard Bleier entered a game that was bizarre from the outset.
Bundy was charged with two earned runs and four total in 5 2/3 innings. He should have been out of the inning with the score still knotted, but Rio Ruiz mishandled Enrique Hernández’s ground ball to load the bases with two outs and first base umpire Jim Wolf ruled that Martin checked his swing on a 1-2 count, which infuriated manager Brandon Hyde.
A.J. Pollock doubled to lead off the sixth, which started with Bundy at 74 pitches, and scored on Bellinger’s bloop single down the left field line for a 2-2 tie. Seager walked, Bundy retired the next two batters and his baseball world fell apart.
Bundy couldn’t explain what happened on the passed ball because he didn’t see it.
“Not sure,” he said. “I know he swung and then it went to the backstop. That’s all I could see from my perspective. Not sure what happened. I’ll look at it on video tomorrow.”
Asked about his failure to cover the plate, Bundy said, “I thought it was a strikeout. From where I was, I couldn’t really see where the ball was.”
“He punched him out,” Hyde said. “I think the swing kind of got in the same sight line as Sevie. That’s what he said. It just kind of ticked off his glove. I think Dylan was kind of stunned at first, not expecting that. Probably thought it was a foul ball like the rest of us and froze. He got the ground ball before that, a routine ground ball and then you punch Martin out. Should be out of that inning, should be 2-2.”
Said Severino: “On that, I was supposed to catch the ball right there. The game is supposed to be tied right there, 2-2, if I catch that ball. So I lose (sight of it). When he swung, I lose the ball and I can’t handle it. Next time, I have to do a better job of that.”
It was a helpless feeling all around.
“Everybody has frustration,” Severino said. “A ground ball to third base and an error. And like I can’t catch that ball right there. I understand Bundy is kind of frustrated right there. He do a great job, just making pitches in a great start right there and (as) a team we’ve got to do a better job next time.”
Bundy threw 29 pitches in the sixth.
“It’s not that frustrating,” he said. “It’s just some well-placed balls that they hit and that’s kind of how baseball goes. You’ve just got to keep making pitches.
“Anytime you get taken out and you didn’t complete the inning, you don’t really feel like you did your job, but really trying to get through that sixth inning there and I wasn’t able to do it tonight.”
Bellinger led off the second with a single, stole second base and scored on Gavin Lux’s two-out bloop single into left field.
Bundy was pitching in some tough luck.
Gonsolin was the third reliever used by the Dodgers. The University of Maryland’s Adam Kolarek struck out DJ Stewart for the final out in the first inning and Yimi Garcia worked a scoreless second. Gonsolin struck out the side in the third, retired the side in order in the fourth and hung a 92.5 mph fastball to Severino with the count full.
Ruiz singled and advanced on a wild pitch, but he was thrown out going to third base on Hanser Alberto’s grounder to short.
Hyde mentioned before the game that he wanted to see improvements in defense and baserunning. He didn’t get them tonight.
“Where do I start?” Hyde said. “Only hard-hit ball (Bundy) gave up that inning was the leadoff double to Pollock here. He pitched absolutely outstanding. We gave them extra outs and a couple runs and it’s just disappointing. He pitches out of that jam twice and we don’t ... we just didn’t make the plays.
“We didn’t play fundamental baseball tonight. We’re continuing to run into outs in big spots, which is really unacceptable. Tonight we just didn’t make the plays in that inning.”
The Dodgers used eight pitchers. The Orioles managed only two hits, both coming in the fifth inning.
It got weird and stayed that way.
“The play with Rio, he’s been sure-handed all year,” Hyde said. “It’s only his seventh error in the year. Rio’s done a great job defensively. That’s just unfortunate. Errors happen and you move on. So I’m really happy with Rio’s defense all season.
“The majority of our base running mistakes are overaggressive, are trying to do too much, are not understanding game situations, and I’ve never seen a team talk about baserunning more than we do or practice it during batting practice. So It’s a little mind-boggling to me, honestly.
“I think the game just speeds up on certain guys on the bases. You can’t make easy outs in this league on the bases. There’s acceptable outs but there’s unacceptable outs also on the bases and we make too many of them.”