Bundy suffers second straight rocky start since DL return in Orioles' 9-0 loss to Yankees

Before rolling his left ankle rounding third base in Atlanta three weeks ago, Dylan Bundy had found his rhythm on the mound, a bright spot in the Orioles’ lost season. But since returning from his brief stint on the disabled list, the Orioles right-hander hasn’t looked right.

It’s been just two starts since his return, but Bundy logged his second straight head-scratching outing, lasting just four innings in the Orioles’ 9-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night at Camden Yards in front of an announced 17,808.


The Orioles (26-67) entered the night with the opportunity to take just their second four-game home series win of the season. Instead, they were dealt their ninth shutout loss.

Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini sat Wednesday and might get an extended break to reset after his disappointing 2018 season has extended into July.

Bundy was felled by a five-run third inning, a 39-pitch frame that was capped by Greg Bird’s two-out grand slam to right field. After lasting just four innings Wednesday, Bundy has recorded two of his three shortest starts in his past two appearances.

For the second straight start, Bundy unraveled quickly. In his previous start in Minnesota five days ago, he fell behind by three runs four batters into the game.

And on Wednesday, Bundy allowed all five runs in the fifth with two outs, and all five batters who reached base in that inning did so on two-strike counts.

“They had some really good at-bats,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They spit on some pitches. It’s one of the things you see up here. They foul off some pitches. I can’t tell you how many times in the course of a game you’ll see a pitch thrown and you go, ‘That’s strike three in the minor leagues.’ But guys have a way up here of fouling pitches off and making you make it again. … But when you’re throwing that many pitches, they’re seeing everything you’ve got to offer. I think command of the fastball isn’t quite what he wants it to be. That kind of starts everything. We’ve seen Dylan have so many good outings and most of it starts with that.”

After making six straight quality starts before going on the DL, posting a 2.55 ERA and holding opponents to a .203 batting average over that stretch, Bundy has allowed 10 earned runs on 19 base runners over his past two starts, spanning 7 1/3 innings.

While there’s nothing to indicate anything wrong with Bundy physically since his return, it’s clear something hasn’t been right in his past two outings, especially with his control and his inability to put hitters away.

“Yeah, the results show that,” Bundy said. “But it doesn't feel like it has been. I felt great today. Thought my stuff was really good. All four pitches I thought were quality.”

The Yankees’ big inning off Bundy began with a seven-pitch walk to Brett Gardner in a plate appearance in which Bundy couldn’t put Gardner away despite four two-strike pitches. He allowed a single to Aaron Judge on an 0-2 count that put runners at the corners.

He erased the lead runner when he fielded Didi Gregorius’ grounder and threw home to nab Gardner — he might have had an inning-ending double play had he gone to second, but saw Gardner down the line and decided to prevent the run instead — but allowed an RBI single to Giancarlo Stanton on an 0-2 count and walked Aaron Hicks on six pitches to load the bases for Bird.

Even though Bundy struck out Bird in his first at-bat, it took him 11 pitches, including five that were fouled off before he got Bird to swing through a changeup.

Bird worked the count again with the bases loaded in the third. Bundy worked ahead of Bird, who saw most of Bundy’s arsenal — four-seam fastballs, changeups and sliders — while fouling off four two-strike pitches before tagging a hanging curveball off the right-field foul pole to put the Yankees up 5-0.

“I gave him pretty much every pitch I had in the arsenal there,” Bundy said. “He was able to foul most of them off and hit the curveball out there.

The Yankees fouled off 19 of Bundy’s 91 pitches, including his fastball nine times.


“Yeah, it just a good lineup over there, some big strong guys,” Bundy said. “And they were able to fist some balls in some areas and, you know, maybe I missed my spot on some pitches here and there. But for the most part, not too bad of pitches there. I thought I I had some good stuff. I was just missing a little bit off the plate. Last time, I was missing on the plate.”

Meanwhile, the Orioles offense couldn’t solve struggling Yankees starter Sonny Gray, who entered the night with his rotation spot in jeopardy. Gray owned a 5.85 ERA and was unable to get out of the third inning in his previous two starts.

But he held the Orioles to three hits over six scoreless innings, recording his third quality start against the Orioles in as many appearances this season. He has just five quality starts in his other 15 starts this season. Gray is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA against the Orioles and just 3-7 with a 6.32 ERA in his other starts.

The Orioles saw less than 50 percent fastballs again Wednesday night as Grey threw 45 curveballs in his 90-pitch outing, logging 10 of 11 swinging strikes on the pitch.

“Tonight I thought he was carrying a little extra fastball,” Showalter said of Gray. “He's always had a good arm. ... I thought he had a lot of late life, I thought the shape of his breaking ball was better. Watching some film of him coming in, you could tell there was kind of a different guy out there tonight. Even early on, I thought he had two shapes on his breaking ball. He was real comfortable throwing it short when he needed to and getting it for a strike.”

Recommended on Baltimore Sun