Bundy allows three homers in Orioles' 10-7 loss to Angels, the club's 14th defeat in 17 games.
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy took the mound Wednesday night hoping to put the memories of his worst big league start behind him.
Tagged by the Tampa Bay Rays for a career-high eight runs and 11 hits in his previous outing, he entered Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels with the opportunity to regain the form that made him one of the American League's best pitchers over the first three weeks of the season.
But Bundy fell victim to the long ball against the Angels, allowing a season-high three homers in the Orioles' 10-7 loss at Angel Stadium. He was chased from the game in the fifth inning for his second straight outing, allowing seven runs — five earned — over 4 1/3 innings.
"[It is the] execution of the first couple pitches in the at-bat," Bundy said. "If I'm 2-0, then I leave the third one out over the middle of the plate and high and then, yeah, that's a pretty easy pitch to hit out of the ballpark. You've either got to work ahead or make better pitches behind in the count, and I'm not doing either right now."
Since recording a 1.42 ERA over his first five outings this season, Bundy has allowed 15 runs (12 earned) over his past two starts spanning nine innings, inflating his season ERA to 3.76.
"It's always a concern when you know what a guy is capable of and he doesn't do it that night," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Dylan, I didn't think he was quite as crisp as he's capable of."
With the loss, the Orioles' six-game West Coast trip is quickly turning south.
The Orioles (8-22) — losers of 14 of their past 17 games — must win Thursday night's series finale to avoid a series sweep before heading to Oakland for a three-game weekend series against the Athletics.
"It's not a good feeling," first baseman Chris Davis said. "We know what we are capable of. We know the potential of the team and we are not playing up to that potential right now. But if you hang your head and start feeling yourself, you're just going to get buried even more. You have to find positives. You have to find some way to remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and keep going after it."
After allowing just one home run in his first five starts spanning 31 2/3 innings, Bundy has allowed five homers in his past two starts. The three homers allowed matched a career high set two other times.
"He's elevating the ball," Showalter said. "In those successful outings, he was really driving the ball down and away, and that's still the bread and butter of good pitchers. He's trying. He'll figure it out. I know you see a couple in a row like that from a good pitcher you're always concerned if it's something else."
Bundy allowed a pair of solo homers in the first inning, but Justin Upton's three-run homer in the fifth was the back-breaker. His night ended one batter later, after Albert Pujols' one-out double.
The Orioles took a quick lead three batters into the game when Craig Gentry's triple to left was followed by a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado to put the Orioles up 1-0.
Bundy fell behind in the bottom half of the inning, allowing homers to Mike Trout and Pujols.
He left a 1-0 fastball up to Trout, who crushed the pitch deep into the left-field stands for his 11th homer of the season. Two batters later, Pujols jumped on a slider over the outer half of the plate on a 1-2 count, sending it over the left-center-field fence.
The Orioles defense didn't help Bundy's cause as two errors led to two unearned runs in the fourth to give the Angels a 4-1 lead.
Bundy had retired seven straight and eight of nine when Shohei Ohtani reached with one out on Davis' fielding error. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons then hit a sinking line drive to left that shot past a diving Trey Mancini. Machado's relay throw home skipped past catcher Caleb Joseph for an error, giving Simmons third base after Ohtani scored.
Davis made a diving play on Zack Cozart's drive down the first-base line, but the groundout enabled Simmons to score.
In the fifth, Bundy elevated a 2-2 fastball that No. 9 hitter Martín Maldonado hit for a leadoff single, and after Trout drew a six-pitch walk two batters later, Upton took a 0-1 curveball over the left-field fence.
One night after Nick Tropeano held the Orioles to one hit over 6 1/3 scoreless innings, Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney allowed just one runs on five hits through six innings Wednesday.
The Orioles rallied late, making it a three-run game with a five-run ninth inning highlighted by pinch hitter Jace Peterson's three-run triple off reliever Eduardo Paredes.
The Orioles scored their first run of the inning on with three straight singles to open the frame — Davis' single scored Danny Valencia — and then pinch hitter Anthony Santander walked to load the bases for Peterson.
Peterson laced a ball into the right-field corner to clear the bases, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Mancini, forcing the Angels to turn to former Orioles closer Jim Johnson for the final two outs of the game.
The Orioles had the tying run in the on-deck circle, but Machado struck out to end an eight-pitch at-bat and Adam Jones flied out to right, ending the game.
"We had some opportunities," Davis said. "We ended up scoring seven. They probably would have pitched it differently if the game had been closer but you would have liked to push those across, at least one across and keep engaged in the game."