BALTIMORE—Dylan Bundy was removed from Saturday’s game after five innings and 80 pitches, the fewest he has thrown this season. Manager Brandon Hyde wasn’t concerned about pitch count, but velocity.
Bundy allowed three runs on four hits. The three runs came on two home runs by Albert Pujols. He walked two, struck out two, and threw two wild pitches in the Orioles’ 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on a rainy Saturday.
The two homers were the 10th and 11th Bundy has allowed. His relatively short outing comes a week after his best of the season, when he threw 7 1/3 innings, more than any Orioles starter. He pitched scoreless ball against Tampa Bay, allowing only three hits.
Hyde has been conservative with pitch counts, but this time Hyde noticed Bundy’s velocity on his fastball had dropped to 87 mph in the fifth. He sent pitching coach Doug Brocail to the mound to check on Bundy. Hyde also saw the command faltering.
“That’s why we took him out there,” Hyde said. “It just didn’t look right.”
Bundy said he didn’t realize his velocity was down.
“Was it? I didn’t look at the velo,” Bundy said. “But, yeah, I noticed I was getting underneath the ball a little bit and leaving a lot of fastballs up way out of the zone. That’s kind of the first thing you notice.”
Bundy said there is nothing wrong with him.
“Physically, I’m fine,” he said. “I feel like I kind of had to battle the whole game with off-speed pitches, kind of pitching behind in the count.”
As tracked by Statcast, Bundy averaged a career-low 89.8 mph on his fastball.
“I wasn’t worried about it,” Bundy said. “I didn’t look up there and see a problem. So, I might look at a few mechanical things. But overall my arm feels great, so I’ll just keep chucking it.”
Bundy never looks forward to coming out of a game.
“When they say they’re taking the ball, they take the ball,” Bundy said. “ I tried to keep the team in the game as long as I could. And, unfortunately, I didn’t get to go out there for another one.”
The Orioles’ only scoring came in the first on a two-run home run by Dwight Smith Jr., his seventh, and it temporarily tied the score at 2.
After Bundy left, Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs in the sixth in a strange inning that featured runs scoring on consecutive fielder’s choices.
Los Angeles had a chance to pull away, but Branden Kline struck out Mike Trout with the bases loaded to end the inning. Jimmy Yacabonis, who had been called up from Norfolk before the game, gave up another run in the ninth.
The Orioles were held scoreless after the first. In the final five innings, four Los Angeles relievers yielded just four hits.
“They had their bullpen ready and they have some good arms, and they rely heavily on those guys,” Hyde said. “Their starters don’t go very deep, so those guys have been pitching well for them. We just didn’t get to their ‘pen. They got to our ‘pen.
“I’m just looking for guys to step up out of the ‘pen and be able to pitch in the sixth through eighth innings with the score close. It’s pretty open for who wants to step up and be a guy.”
Pujols making history: Pujols hit two home runs, a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the fourth. Pujols has 59 multi-home run games, and 641 in his career, 19 behind Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time homer list.
“He got me twice today,” Bundy said. “You can’t make a mistake to him, and I missed my spot on both pitches. Just a little bit on the first one. But the second one, I just lost command there and missed my spot by about a foot and a half.”
This week, Pujols became the third player in baseball history with more than 2,000 RBIs, and his 3,110 hits tie him with Dave Winfield for 22nd on the all-time hit list.
Bleier pitches again: Richard Bleier threw a shutout inning for Double-A Bowie, allowing a hit, and striking out one. He threw 12 pitches, 10 strikes. It follows his scoreless inning on Friday.