Dylan Bundy’s toughest major league start came at an inopportune time for the Orioles, who were grateful for his six innings Thursday but were defeated, 6-5, by the Detroit Tigers because of the career-high six runs he allowed.
Bundy, who had gone at least six innings in each of his first eight starts and hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of them, entered the game as the bastion of consistency on a staff struggling with it.
"The hard part is, when the team got the lead it seemed like I gave it up every inning after we got the lead," Bundy said. "So, that can’t happen and I’ve got to do a better job. But getting through six, that’s huge for our bullpen. Giving up six runs …"
In allowing six runs on eight hits, including two home runs, with four walks and three strikeouts, Bundy posted a game score of 25, which matches his career low.
Up to this point, his lowest this season had been 48 — just a shade below average — and his eight quality starts were a league high.
Even with the six runs allowed, Bundy was efficient for most of the day. He had thrown just 31 pitches, even with two walks, in the first two frames, but got in trouble early in the third.
He missed inside to No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias and had a wind-blown fly ball fall into the left-field corner for a double. Iglesias went to third on an infield single by third baseman Nicholas Castellanos, and watched them all score on a three-run home run by right fielder J.D. Martinez.
Two innings later, he walked Martinez to get to Victor Martinez, who homered to score them both in a three-run fifth inning.
"They hit two homers and that just seemed to cost me with runners on base," Bundy said. "They hit the ball out of the ballpark. Really, double down the line, unlucky for me I guess. Quality pitch, but not a quality result."
Even after a scoreless sixth inning that put him at 97 pitches, Bundy gave way to Miguel Castro.
Bundy fell to 5-2 on the season, and his ERA jumped to 2.97, as the Orioles took the series defeat in slipping to 23-16.
It wouldn’t have been an unfair fate. According to MLB’s Statcast program, the 350-foot home run left Jones’ bat at 88.7 mph, making it the slowest home run hit this season. Just six percent of balls with that trajectory and speed fall in for hits.
Karma evened things out in the sixth inning, when he clubbed a ball 412 feet to the warning track and made an out.
With the wind swirling on a warm day at Comerica Park, manager Buck Showalter said he was surprised more balls didn't go out.
“It seemed like there were about 10 balls hit out in that same little triangle out there," Showalter said. "Everybody’s playing in the same ballpark. They had some balls that would have been home runs in most parts in center field, too. I actually think we were a little more fortunate than they were.”
Jones said he thought he had a home run in the sixth, "but it didn’t get out, so it doesn’t matter what I think."
Davis stays hot: After a one-day respite Wednesday, first baseman Chris Davis’ hot streak resumed. His fifth home run in as many games staked the Orioles to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, giving him a share of the team lead with nine long balls this season. He ended the day 1-for-3 with a walk.
Castro comes back: A day after throwing 25 pitches in his Orioles debut, 22-year-old right-hander Miguel Castro was right back on the mound in Thursday’s game. He issued three walks, but threw two scoreless innings, requiring 30 pitches to do so.
"Weren’t necessarily clean, but nobody crossed the plate," Showalter said.