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Bundy finds form with 8-K gem vs. A's

Righty allows 2 ER, walks none in 6 strong innings as O's end 6-game skid
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- This is the Dylan Bundy the Orioles have been waiting for.

Marred in a stretch of short starts, ineffective command and what the typically stoic right-hander called a "10 out of 10" on the frustration scale over the weekend, Bundy finally got some reprieve. The 25-year-old turned in six solid innings, his first quality start since Aug. 4, and held the A's to two runs in the 5-3, sweep-avoiding victory on Thursday night at Camden Yards.

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BALTIMORE -- This is the Dylan Bundy the Orioles have been waiting for.

Marred in a stretch of short starts, ineffective command and what the typically stoic right-hander called a "10 out of 10" on the frustration scale over the weekend, Bundy finally got some reprieve. The 25-year-old turned in six solid innings, his first quality start since Aug. 4, and held the A's to two runs in the 5-3, sweep-avoiding victory on Thursday night at Camden Yards.

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"Dylan's got a different moxie, I'm telling you, than a lot of people you come across. Some players are like Forrest Gump and the box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get," manager Buck Showalter said. "You know at some point he's going to get back on the horse. This one has been, quite frankly, a little longer than I've seen from him. We'll see what the next one brings. But he always has a purpose and has the want-to and everything. Just really as happy for him as the team getting a 'W' because I know he's been beating himself up."

There was plenty that passed the eye test, as Bundy pounded the zone and used his slider to get countless swings and misses. And there was even more to like about that line: eight strikeouts and no walks. Bundy, coming off a career-high five walks in a four-inning loss to Tampa Bay, was a bright spot for an Orioles club that direly needs one.

"Yeah, a lot different," Bundy said of Thursday's outing. "I had a clue where it was going now. Like I said, just the conviction in the pitch and believing in yourself and [knowing] that it was the right pitch. I think that was the biggest thing tonight."

With injuries to Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner casting some doubt on the next start for each, the O's rotation is in flux. If Bundy -- the O's Opening Day starter -- returns to form, it would go a long way toward stabilizing the rotation, and it would send the righty out on a positive note heading into the offseason.

Bundy staved off a potential A's rally in the fifth inning, striking out Josh Phegley and Ramon Laureano after some early trouble to hold Oakland to one run in the frame. The slider once again played a pivotal role.

"I was just trying to speed it up a little bit," Bundy said of the pitch. "Sometimes I get on the side of it and not really on top and behind the baseball, so just try to make it a little more tighter tonight, and the results were better tonight for sure."

The bats backed Bundy to help the Orioles win for the second time in their past 14 games, with Tim Beckham's center-field single staking Baltimore to a 2-0 lead in the first.

Video: OAK@BAL: Beckham cracks a 2-run single to center

Bundy surrendered a solo homer to Stephen Piscotty in the second, but the O's added two more runs off A's starter Brett Anderson via RBI singles from Breyvic Valera and John Andreoli. Jace Peterson doubled in a run in the eighth after Oakland had closed the gap to 4-3.

Video: OAK@BAL: Peterson drives an RBI double to left

"I see it as an opportunity," Valera said of these next few weeks. "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."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Givens to the rescue: Oakland had one run in and the bases loaded with one out in the top of the eighth, following two singles off Miguel Castro and two walks issued by lefty Paul Fry. With the score at 4-3, Givens came on. He struck out Piscotty swinging on a 96.2-mph fastball and then coaxed a flyout from Marcus Semien to escape the jam with the lead intact.

Video: OAK@BAL: Givens escapes a bases loaded jam in 8th

"He's trying to develop some trust," Showalter said of Givens. "Paul takes a step or two forward and one back. I'm hoping they grow from this. It's a process. But they're both doing roles they haven't done in the big leagues, so regardless of your age and experience it has to be gained by that."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With one out and a runner on first in the ninth, Valera made a terrific on-the-run grab racing toward the right-field foul line to rob Laureano of a bloop single.

"My mentality from the get-go was to go get it, make one out, catch the ball," Valera said through an interpreter. "So I was prepared mentally for it and fortunately I was able to get it, to catch the ball."

Video: BAL@OAK: Valera slides to rob Laureano in the 9th

UP NEXT
O's No. 7 prospect Luis Ortiz will make his first Major League start on Friday night at Camden Yards against White Sox veteran James Shields (6-16, 4.58 ERA). Ortiz will open a three-game weekend set against Chicago, with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Dylan Bundy