The Orioles swiped a season-high four bases tonight, but they couldn’t steal the finale of the four-game series against the Yankees. Baltimore fell behind early, and failed to overcome the early four-run deficit in a 5-3 loss Sunday night.
Dylan Bundy took the ball for Baltimore and produced a start that was pretty on par with his performance this summer. He surrendered an early two-run home run to Luke Voit in the second inning. Bundy has now allowed a homer in nine consecutive games. He leads the MLB in home runs allowed, and has yet to provide any reason to believe that this tailspin will stop before the end of the season.
Voit turned around a first pitch, 93-MPH fastball and put it into the seats. The blast came with two outs, and plated Neil Walker who had reached on a fielder’s choice. Bundy has now allowed 34 round-trippers this season.
The Yankees doubled up their lead an inning later with two more two-out runs. After a Shane Robinson leadoff single, Bundy retired Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton before David Hicks singled to center. Yankees star rookie Miguel Andujar drove in Robinson and Hicks with a double down the right field line. Andujar took the pitch the other way and barely snuck it within the right field boundary, but the ball was fair and the Yankees held a four-run lead.
Baltimore continued to find new ways to shoot itself in the foot in the bottom of the third. Jace Peterson led off the inning with a single, and Caleb Joseph followed with a knock of his own. With the infield back, Jonathan Villar attempted a drag bunt. Villar was called out for “batters interference to the catcher.” Villar may have ran into the ball in fair territory and outside of the batters box. Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to get an explanation, but the Orioles did not challenge the call.
Craig Gentry singled to load the bases, but the Orioles inning stalled after that. Trey Mancini swung and missed at a 98-MPH fastball, and Adam Jones popped out to end the threat.
Alex Rodriguez and the ESPN crew spent the fourth inning talking about whether or not the Orioles will keep Buck Showalter after this season. Rodriguez provided a ringing endorsement for Showalter, but it couldn’t distract from Luis Severino striking out the side in order. A-Rod didn’t say anything that Orioles fans haven’t already heard, but Showalter does have a few rebuilds on his resume.
Peterson walked to start the fifth and quickly stole second. After he advanced on a swinging bunt by Joseph, Villar succeeded in a more traditional sacrifice. Villar drove a ball to center deep enough for Peterson to tag and for the Orioles to get on the board.
Cody Carroll came in to pitch the sixth and nearly escaped unscathed before a two-out wild pitch. Voit hustled in after an errant pitch by Carroll to stretch the Yankees lead back to four. However, Carroll got Stanton to foul out to end the inning. Stanton hit the ball a mile high, but straight up in the air before Joseph made the play right at home plate. The Bronx bomber struggled throughout the night, and finished 0-5 with four strikeouts. He’ll likely pick up his 300th home run well before the Orioles face the Yankees again in late September.
The Orioles made things interesting with a pair of runs in the sixth. Trey Mancini got the inning started with a lead off home run. Mancini turned a 97-MPH fastball into a 438 foot home run over the center field fence.
With two outs, Tim Beckham reached on a throwing error to keep the inning alive. Renato Nunez followed with a single, and Peterson drove in Beckham with a single to right field. Peterson stole second again to put the tying run into scoring position, but Joseph chased a high fastball to end the inning.
Both teams threatened a few more times, but the scoring ended after the sixth. Craig Gentry singled, stole second and advanced on a wild pitch before being stranded at third in the seventh. The Orioles got the tying run to the plate in the ninth thanks to a one-out walk, but Villar struck out and Gentry flew out to the warning track to end the game.
The Orioles are now 37-94. Bundy (7-13) took the loss, Severino (17-6) notched the win and David Robertson picked up his fourth save. Peterson finished 2-3 with an RBI, run scored and a walk. Craig Gentry finished 2-5 from the two hole, and stole his 12th base of the year. The Orioles four steals was likely an anomaly, not a new small-ball approach, but it’s always nice to have some speed out there.
Baltimore will start a three-game series against Toronto Monday evening. David Hess is slated to take the start against Sam Gaviglio. Hess will face Kendrys Morales who has homered in seven straight games.