BALTIMORE—After seven winless starts, and a frustration level that he described as “10 out of 10,” Dylan Bundy pitched one of his better games, and the Orioles delivered a rare win over a quality team.
Bundy allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, and struck out eight without a walk in the Orioles’ 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.
It broke the Orioles’ six-game losing streak, and gave them a record of 42-104. Their record against the top five teams in the American League is 11-37.
Bundy did allow a home run, the 38th he’s surrendered, extending his club record, but he had a much better game than he did Sept. 7 at Tampa Bay when he allowed six runs in four innings. There was a huge difference.
“I just thought the conviction with all the pitches,” Bundy said. “I think that kind of made them a little bit sharper, slider, curveball was all playing to that right-handed lineup they had tonight.”
In this game, Bundy had “belief and believing in myself in every single pitch for however many pitches I throw, knowing that pitch you’re calling, the one you’re going to throw to that batter is the right one every time.”
The win gives him an 8-14 mark. Bundy could have three starts in the team’s final 16 games.
“That was fun to watch,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He had a really good feel for his breaking ball. He just had the one pitch I thought that, he was trying to go down and away off the plate and he let it leak back enough over the plate. He’d like to have that one back. But I thought he had just a good feel for pitching.
“He made them beat his breaking ball. He had a good breaking ball, he had good command of it, and they didn’t seem like they were seeing it or following it. And he had two of them. Really happy for Dylan. I almost took him out after the fifth inning, just to give him a positive note, but he seemed to get a little better as the game went on.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Cashner had an MRI on his left knee, and Showalter said that the knee was “structurally in good shape,” and he may have a cortisone shot.
“He’s got some discomfort in there that we hope he can resolve in the next few days and he can make some starts for us before the season’s over,” Showalter said.
Cashner has had the issue for some time, Showalter said, but he’s been able to pitch through it. “He and we wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything structural … we’ve got an idea of what it is, nothing that needs to be surgically corrected.”
Showalter isn’t sure Cashner will make his next start.
Alex Cobb, whose cut finger has derailed his planned Sunday start, won’t pitch before Sept. 21, Showalter said.
Luis Ortiz gets his first major league start Friday against Chicago and Yefry Ramirez is scheduled to start Saturday. David Hess is a possibility for Sunday’s start if he isn’t needed in relief. Showalter said that he has a list of six or seven candidates. One of them is left-handed reliever Sean Gilmartin, who started twice for the New York Mets in 2015 and 2016.
“I look at it as a chance to see some other people that we wouldn’t have,” Showalter said.
Valera the offensive star
Breyvic Valera had two hits and an RBI and a terrific sliding catch to rob Ramon Laureano of a hit with one out and one on in the ninth. Valera, who was obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade, ran into short right field to make the catch.
Valera had played in just 25 major league games before the trade, and he’s hoping to impress the Orioles this month.
“I see it as an opportunity,” Valera said through a translator. “Unfortunately, this season the record may not be the best but every day you are still trying to go out there to help your team. Just help the team win, whatever it takes.”
Early Thursday morning, Austin Hays underwent surgery on his right ankle. “Surgery went well ya boy is all patched up,” Hays tweeted. Hays hopes to be ready for spring training.
Showalter talked with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel about the surgery.
“There were no surprises, and they expect a full recovery,” Showalter said. “Kind of good he got it done now. It’s just one of those years, it’s been something with him the whole year. It’s frustrating. Sure he’s feeling how you wipe the slate clean in 2018.”
Billy O’Dell dies at 85
Billy O’Dell, who pitched for the original 1954 Orioles and spent his first five of a 13-season career with the team, died at 85 on Wednesday of complications from Parkinson’s disease. O’Dell was the MVP of the 1958 All-Star Game played in Memorial Stadium, throwing three perfect innings in relief to earn a save. Among those he retired were Hall-of-Famers Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Ernie Banks and Bill Mazeroski.