Dylan Bundy is having a season to forget, as evidenced by his 5.36 ERA at the start of play. The second half of the season has been particularly difficult, with Bundy carrying a 7.80 ERA over that time.
The frustration continued on Friday night at Tropicana Field. Walks and home runs were problematic for the right-hander, the latter of which have been his Achilles heel all year. At the start of play, the righty was averaging 2.2 home runs per nine innings.
At least the Orioles made Rays starter Blake Snell work in the first inning. It took 22 pitches for him to strike out the side, with a single by Jonathan Villar sandwiched in there. The left-hander was touching 97 mph with his fastball from the get-go. And even though the Orioles would get Snell’s pitch count to 92 by the end of the fifth, they had no runs to show for it in that time.
Bundy got off to a fast start in this one, striking out the side in the first while working around a walk. The second inning was not as kind, as the long ball reared it’s ugly head yet again for Bundy. After a single by Willy Adames and a walk to Jake Bauers, number nine hitter Nicholas Ciuffo launched a three-run home run. 3-0, Rays.
Bundy and the O’s fell victim to another three-run home run the very next inning, this one off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier after a pair of walks. 6-0, Rays.
Meanwhile, Snell was missing a lot of bats, striking out eight Orioles through the first five innings. He would finish with nine total strikeouts.
Coming into the game, only three teams in the American League had struck out more times than the Orioles (1,211). At the start of play, Snell had 177 strikeouts in 151.2 innings, good for an average of 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
For the Orioles, Bundy would not even make it to the midway point of the game. His final pitching line was six earned runs in four innings on four hits, five walks, three strikeouts and two home runs. His ERA rose to 5.58 and the five walks was a season high for the right-hander. He threw a total of 84 pitches but only 42 strikes.
Sean Gilmartin came on in the bottom of the fifth to replace Bundy and gave up a solo home run to the second batter he saw, Tommy Pham. 7-0, Rays.
The Orioles ended the shutout in the sixth inning with a two run home run from Joey Rickard that would chase Snell from the game. 7-2, Rays. Snell allowed two runs on five hits, nine strikeouts and one home run in 5.1 innings. He threw 104 pitches, including 72 strikes.
On a side note, Cedric Mullins had one hit — an infield single — in three at-bats against the lefty Snell. Coming into the game, he was 3-for-17 against left-handers with three walks and nine strikeouts.
As if the score wasn’t already out of hand, the Rays really piled on in the seventh with a grand slam. After Gilmartin allowed two runners on, Ryan Meisinger came on and allowed another walk before surrendering the grand slam to designated hitter Ji-Man Choi. 11-2, Rays.
Right-hander Luis Ortiz came on to make his major league debut in the bottom of the seventh inning, which takes him out of the running for the start tomorrow in the event that David Hess can’t pitch. Hess took a football to the face during a pregame workout Friday.
Ortiz was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Schoop trade and was recalled on September 4. But his debut against the Rays in mop-up duty did not go well. He promptly loaded the bases on a double, a single and a walk.
After inducing a fly ball to right for the first out of the inning, Ortiz made a wild pitch that allowed the runner from third to score. The Rays tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly in foul ground to John Andreoli and the third run of the inning scored on an infield single to second. 14-2, Rays.
The big right-hander failed to get out of the seventh. In 0.2 innings, he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks while showing a serious lack of control. Yefry Ramirez came on and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, which takes him out of the running for the start tomorrow too.
The Orioles went down quietly in the last two plus innings of the game, with the last seven batters retired in order.
There was nothing working for the O’s tonight — neither on the mound nor at the plate. The lineup managed only two runs on six hits with zero walks and 15 strikeouts. The pitching staff gave up 14 runs on 10 hits and an astounding 11 walks.
Another game, another loss, bringing the Orioles to an even 100 losses on the year.