In the all-Dylan pitching matchup tonight, Dylan Bundy reigned supreme. The Orioles right-hander produced his seventh consecutive quality start to begin the year as the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in front of 28,718 at Oriole Park.
The Orioles improved to 19-10, winning their third in a row and for the fifth time in seven games. They are 10-3 at home and can sweep the White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
On the first day of Zach Britton’s second 2017 trip to the disabled list, Darren O’Day came on for the ninth tonight. He recorded his second save of the year and 19th of his career with a 1-2-3 inning on 19 pitches.
Bundy bested Chicago’s Dylan Covey by throwing six innings, allowing six hits and three runs. He walked one and fanned three, and improved to 5-1 with an ERA of 2.17. Bundy is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four home starts and the Orioles are 6-1 in his games. Pretty strong start to the year for the 24-year-old right-hander, who has allowed two or fewer runs five times and three runs in each of his other two starts.
The Orioles had scored just eight runs in the first inning this year, one of their lowest totals in any inning. But they scored three in the last of the first tonight off Covey.
The inning started with consecutive singles by Seth Smith, Adam Jones and Manny Machado. A balk with one out and Mark Trumbo batting scored the game’s first run. A Trumbo infield single to deep short followed and that made it 2-0. Trey Mancini followed Trumbo with an RBI double to left and it was 3-0. The Orioles left the bases loaded, but got the early lead for Bundy.
In the second, Machado hit a line drive homer to left-center for a 4-0 lead. He hit No. 8 on a 1-2 curve ball. Over his past 10 games, Machado has hit five homers with 10 RBIs.
After Bundy pitched out of a two-on jam in the fourth, the White Sox got to him for two in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-2. Melky Cabrera had a sac fly and Leury García an RBI single.
But the O’s got those runs back in the home half. Trumbo led off with a single and scored ahead of Mancini’s two-run homer to left that made it a 6-2 lead and knocked Covey from the game. He allowed 10 hits and six runs over four-plus innings.
For Mancini, who hit a 3-2 fastball 398 feet, it was No. 6. That was career homer No. 9 for Mancini in his 24th game and 78th major league plate appearance.
Bundy allowed his third homer of the season in the top of the sixth. Cody Asche hit one out to center, connecting off a 91 mph fastball to cut the lead to 6-3.
The game got even closer when José Abreu lined a two-run homer in the eighth off the left field foul pole and the Sox were within 6-5. Abreu’s liner left his bat at 112 mph and was his fourth home run.
On Sunday, the Orioles go for their first three-game home sweep of the White Sox since May 4-6, 1999. Since 2012, the O’s are 15-6 at Camden Yards against the White Sox.
Chris Tillman makes his season debut Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m., facing Sox lefty José Quintana (2-4, 4.10 ERA).
Here are postgame quotes from the Orioles clubhouse:
Bundy is happy that the team can count on him: “Absolutely. It’s been my goal since I got drafted by the Orioles: to become a dependable big league starter. Haven’t done that until last year. I am thankful and humble I’ve gotten the opportunity to start in the big leagues. Just want to take advantage of it.”
Bundy on his outing: “I was grinding. Me and Caleb (Joseph) were grinding together back there. I didn’t really have much of curveball or slider today until that last inning. I didn’t have my curveball all game. Just tried to grind as much as we could and get outs.”
Bundy on throwing well without all of his pitches working: “Yeah, it also helps when your hitters give you a lead to work with. You don’t feel as much pressure. ... I guess you could say was just trying to limit the damage as much as you can.”
Bundy on producing seven straight quality starts: “It means I’m on a roll. I feel good and my body feels good. I’m just going out there every time, trying to give my team a chance to win.”
Mancini on being a big contributor to the team: “It means a lot to me. I still have to pinch myself sometimes that I’m here and contributing to the team. That is all I want to do when I get to the park each day - in some way, contribute to a win. Just try to do everything right and play as hard as I can.”
Mancini is getting more comfortable and confident with each day in the bigs: “Every day, you get more confident. It’s a learning process, especially defensively, I’d say. Still a learning experience.”
Mancini is feeling good at the plate right now: “I saw him (Dylan Covey) well tonight. I felt good. Even in BP, I felt as good as I have the last couple of weeks. For sure, I felt like I was back to myself, putting good swings on the ball and staying through the ball better.”
Trumbo on getting three runs in the first: “Nice little cushion. I think we battled and I saw some really good swings tonight on the offensive side, and obviously Dylan did his part on the mound, too.”
Trumbo when asked if some things coming together on offense: “Yeah, I like what I see. You knew it was going to. Some of the swings guys have been working on are carrying over into the game. Guys are taking the pitches they need to take. We’ve seen a lot more hard contact in the last week from just about everybody.”