Surprisingly, Dylan Bundy was able to hold his own tonight against Wade Miley and the Astros. Unfortunately for Bundy and the Orioles, the Baltimore bats made sure Bundy’s quality start did not lead to a win. The Astros added an insurance run in the seventh, and held on for a 3-2 victory in the series opener at Camden Yards.
Bundy nearly escaped the first inning unscathed, but couldn’t quite close it out. The Astros sandwiched a Jose Altuve single in between two outs, and Bundy was only one pitch from heading to the dugout. Instead, Alex Bregman punched a full count, two-out double down the right field line to get the Houston on the board. Bundy got ahead 0-2 to Astros Rookie Yordan Alvarez, but the youngster worked a full count and plated Bregman with a bloop single on the ninth pitch of the at bat.
The Orioles fell behind 2-0, and would trail the rest of the game.
The Astros put two more on the base paths in the second inning, but Bundy was able to strikeout Altuve and escape the threat. Michael Brantley led off the third with a double to left, but the righty retired the next three Houston hitters.
Bundy really settled in after the third. MASN’s Steve Meleweski noted on twitter that Bundy needed 69 pitches to get through the first three innings, but threw only 33 to get through frames four, five and six. He held the Astros to one hit in those last three innings, and kept the Orioles close. His final line read 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. He didn’t give up a home run, but still picked up his 12th loss of the season.
Meanwhile, the Orioles offense could not solve Miley. He kept the Orioles off the board through the first four innings, but Baltimore finally broke through with a solo shot in the fifth by Jace Peterson. Peterson turned around a Miley cutter and drove it to the first row of seats in left-center field. Peterson finished 2-4, and was one of only two Baltimore batters with multiple hits. Hanser Alberto went 3-4 from the leadoff spot.
The Peterson blast cut the lead in half, but the Astros got the run back in the seventh. Altuve scored Robinson Chirinos with a two-out, RBI triple to right-center field. O’s reliever Shawn Armstrong gave up the run, and Paul Fry replaced him to record the final out of the inning.
Stevie Wilkerson answered right away in the bottom of the seventh. Wilkerson blasted a Joe Smith sinker 399 feet to right-center field. Neither team would score again.
Trey Mancini worked a walk and Anthony Santander singled to put the tying run in scoring position, but the Orioles failed to take advantage in the eighth inning. Astros reliever Ryan Pressly struck out Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar to end the inning.
Chris Davis pinch hit with two outs in the seventh and went down swinging. His appearance proved that his absence from the lineup today had more to do with the pitching matchup and not the altercation on Wednesday night.
Peterson singled in the ninth before Davis stepped up representing the winning run, but Davis lined into the shift to end the game.
The story of the night, aside from the Orioles honoring the 1989 “Why Not?” team, has to be Dylan Bundy keeping one of the World Series favorites in check for six innings. He was a strike away from six shutout frames, and came up with several big pitches to escape potential jams.
Wade Miley is a completely different pitcher than he was in Baltimore, and Orioles fans can only hope that Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal brought a little of that magic pitching mojo with them when they left Houston.
Aaron Brooks will take the mound tomorrow, so the O’s will need all the magic they can get. On top of that, the bats will need more than a few solo shots if they have any chance of winning the second game of the series.