BALTIMORE— Dylan Bundy’s season is over, and one thing stood out: Bundy led the major leagues in home runs allowed with 41.
“I’m not sure how many, but it was a lot this year, that’s for sure,” Bundy said after the Orioles’ 4-3 loss in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader to the Houston Astros.
“I definitely have to get that number down for next year.”
Bundy left the game trailing 3-0, allowing a two-run home run to George Springer, which was immediately followed by a homer by Carlos Correa in the sixth.
DJ Stewart tied it at 3 with a three-run home run against Joe Smith in the seventh before Sean Gilmartin allowed a run in the ninth.
Bundy ended the season with 31 starts. Some of them were forgettable, especially the one on May 8 against Kansas City when he became the first pitcher in major league history to allow four home runs to the first seven batters without recording an out.
On July 25, Bundy allowed three home runs to Boston in the first two innings before the game was rained out, nullifying the homers.
Bundy started the season healthy before rolling an ankle in a start in Atlanta on June 23 that sent him to the 10-day disabled list. He also finished the season healthy.
“That was the goal, and I ended up getting 31, 32 [starts] with the rainout,” Bundy said. “That was my goal coming into the year. Luckily, I was able to stay healthy and finish that goal this weekend.”
Bundy got to face Justin Verlander, who dazzled the Orioles in his final pre-postseason start. He allowed three hits in six shutout innings, striking out 10 and walking one.
“It was fun,” Bundy said of facing Verlander. “It gives you more adrenaline. Knowing you’re pitching against that guy, you have to bring your ‘A’ game. Just trying to keep us in the game, and I was able to do that today.”
Verlander impressed manager Buck Showalter.
“He didn’t break out the changeup until the fourth or fifth inning,” Showalter said. “Two curveballs, command. You see the things he’s done … He’s 35 years old. It’s remarkable to watch him pitch, even though it’s beating you. It’s a good exposure of why they’re good. He would have kept pitching I’m sure five or six days from now. I’d like to say it was fun to watch, but it was tough.”
Ramirez has quality start and loss
Yefry Ramirez pitched six innings for the first time in his major league career, allowing three runs on five hits as the Orioles lost to the Astros, 5-2, in the second game.
With one game remaining, the Orioles are 46-115.
“They said Yefry and Bundy threw well today. Who did we go against?” Adam Jones said. “Cy Youngs? Two of the last three Cy Youngs. It doesn’t work like that.”
Earlier this season, Jones told Bundy that he’s the Orioles No. 1 or 2 starter.
“That means you’re going to go out almost all your starts and face [opponents’] 1 or 2s. When you face 1 or 2s, you’ve got to be perfect.”
Adam Jones was 1-for-4 with a double in the first game and 2-for-3 with a walk in the second game. He received warm ovations in each game. While he was at bat in the sixth inning, there weren chants of “Ad-am, Ad-am” from the crowd of 26.020.
“People come out and support,” Jones said. “They know what I bring to the table. I show up every day for work.”
Showalter has spoken warmly about Jones, and Jones returned the compliment.
“I think for the franchise, he’s just meant accountability,” Jones said. “He holds himself to a high standard. He holds his players to a high standard, and today, that’s all we ask.”
Because Bundy, Ramirez and David Hess each lasted at least six innings in their latest starts, Showalter didn’t need to make extensive use of his bullpen.
Since Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb haven’t been able to pitch because of injuries, the Orioles have needed to scramble for starters.
Sunday’s starter is Jimmy Yacabonis, who threw 3 1/3 innings in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Boston.
The Orioles will have a deep bullpen behind Yacabonis.
“I look at it as an opportunity to see some people in situations they might not be in,” Showalter said. “You try to take some positives out of it. A lot of it has got to do with, we’ve got eight to 10 guys down physically, too.
“As far back as (Pedro) Araujo, (Gabriel) Ynoa. I can keep going. So, a lot of people that we thought would be depth haven’t been able to answer the bell … It’s been a challenge. It takes a lot of imagination and you have to stay on top of every inning, but there’s a lot tougher things going on in this world than trying to figure out who can and will pitch.”