The Orioles hosted the Red Sox on this Saturday night in game three of this weekend’s four-game set. Dylan Bundy took the ball against Boston yet again as David Price worked his first game against the Orioles since last September.
Below, the details from the night’s action at Camden Yards.
Bundy was the best version of his Dealin’ Bundy self to start the game, trading scoreless frames with Price who was pitching in just his second start of the season for Boston.
On a warm night at Oriole Park, both Bundy and Price had top-notch stuff through the first few innings in front of a national televised audience on FOX.
While both avoided major jams and stayed fairly clean throughout the first three innings, the Red Sox made the early impact by boosting Bundy’s pitch count and working deep at-bats in the fourth. Following a Mitch Moreland 11-pitch at-bat, Bundy’s start collected its first — and only major — blemish against Hanley Ramirez.
With Xander Bogaerts on first following a leadoff walk, Ramirez crushed a high fly ball to left that only got about two rows deep, but went just far enough to get over the wall and put the Red Sox up early.
Bundy would finish the fourth without seeing anyone else cross the dish, but the pitch count was up to a whopping 85 as Boston held onto a 2-0 lead. Though the on-paper damage was limited, the inning ended up accounting for 32 pitches in total.
As John Smoltz and Matt Vasgersian noted several times throughout the broadcast, this was the fourth time Bundy had seen the Boston lineup this season. Whether that played a major factor in the elevated pitch count is of course unknown, but it certainly seems to be a valid explanation for the struggles.
For Price, he looked every bit the part of ace as he rolled along against the Orioles lineup. He worked around a leadoff walk to Adam Jones in the fourth to complete the proverbial shutdown inning following Ramirez’s HR, getting Manny Machado to pop out in foul territory and inducing a Mark Trumbo ground ball double play to end what could’ve been a threat for the middle of the lineup.
Through those first four innings, Price allowed just one hit.
Bundy would make quick work of the Red Sox in the fifth, but he would exit the game following that inning with 100 pitches, quite a night’s work without too much to show for it.
His final line — 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Not an ideal outing, but one that certainly kept the team in the game against a very formidable Boston lineup.
Richard Bleier entered in the sixth and did his job to perfection as Price continued to roll on the other side. With the offense sputtering, Bleier too shut down the Red Sox lineup, working around a hit and a walk to toss two scoreless frames (quietly, he has a 2.45 ERA in 14.2 IP this season).
Following the seventh inning stretch with Price still on the hill, Machado finally got the Birds on the board and cut the Red Sox lead to one. On a 1-0 fastball that caught every bit of the plate, Manny launched a solo shot to left field in nearly the same spot of Ramirez’s two-run HR.
That made it just 2-1 Red Sox, however the game’s next reliever was Ubaldo Jimenez — a surprising call to the bullpen by Buck Showalter in a one-run game that proved costly.
To lead off the eighth, Jimenez left a fastball right down the heart of the plate to Mookie Betts who pulled a hard-hit double into the corner. After an Andrew Benintendi bunt, Bogaerts hit a grounder to Jonathan Schoop at second that was hit just hard enough to plate Boston’s third run. That made it 3-1, but the damage wasn’t done against Jimenez and his very shaky command.
With two outs and Bogaerts running from first, Jimenez couldn’t have put a fastball on a tee better for Ramirez to drive in yet another run for the Red Sox. This pitch was a 92 MPH fastball up in the zone, an offering that was roped down the line and into that same left-field corner.
Just like that, it was 4-1 Red Sox — and while Ubaldo didn’t allow another, he ultimately surrendered two earned runs over 36 pitches to boost his season ERA to 6.89... not great.
The Orioles did get the tying run up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth, but John Farrell’s early call to the bullpen to enter Craig Kimbrel into the game paid great dividends to extinguish the threat.
Following a two-out Hyun-Soo Kim single (a pinch-hit AB for Caleb Joseph) against Boston reliever Joe Kelly, Joey Rickard hit a dribbler between the mound and third base that couldn’t be handled cleanly. That set up one of the game’s largest opportunity for Adam Jones, who had the chance to change the complexion of the game but couldn’t find a way against one of the best relief arms in the game.
Kimbrel, who entered the game holding the active Orioles roster to an astounding one hit in 38 at-bats, tossed upper-90s heat to retire Jones on a strikeout.
When Boston added another run in the top of the ninth, the game looked to be well out of reach and firmly in grasp of Kimbrel and the Sox — and it was, but not without some ninth-inning drama.
After a Trumbo single, Trey Mancini lit somewhat of a firework against Kimbrel with a double off the scoreboard in right field to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Jonathan Schoop then worked a walk and got the tying run to the dish, but another strikeout from pinch-hitter Seth Smith ended any type of comeback that was in the cards for this one.
Kimbrel worked out of the jam and finished the game to give a half game advantage to Boston in second place of the AL East standings.
Tomorrow’s final game of the four-game set is scheduled for 1:35 — Chris Tillman will take the hill against Chris Sale.