Bundy beaten by long ball in St. Pete

Righty allows 2 of Rays' 4 HRs in Orioles' 100th loss

September 8th, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles starter swears there is more frustration than meets the eye. More restless nights and anger than the subdued right-hander dares let spill out onto the mound or in postgame press conferences. If that is indeed the case, Bundy has a long weekend ahead of him.

The righty continued his baffling summer slide Friday night, surrendering six runs in the form of two three-run homers over four innings in the 14-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. The 25-year-old, who started Opening Day and had such high hopes this spring, set a club record with 37 homers allowed this season, and he hasn't had a quality start in over a month.

"Ten out of 10," Bundy said, when asked what his frustration level was on the mound after serving up three-run homers to Nick Ciuffo and .

"Just really had no clue where the ball was going tonight and wasn't executing my pitches."

Surely Friday's loss, the Orioles' 100th on the season, wasn't solely on Bundy's broad shoulders. Baltimore's bats -- which have gone into a funk after a promising start out of the All-Star break -- were no match for American League Cy Young candidate . Joey Rickard's two-run homer in the sixth -- which chased Snell -- were the O's only runs off the lefty, who collected his MLB-high-tying 18th win.

And then there was the bullpen, which -- like most of the roster -- has been decimated by trades as the Orioles start a long rebuild. followed Bundy and allowed a fifth-inning homer to Tommy Pham, with two of the four runs on 's grand slam off Ryan Meisinger in the sixth being charged to the lefty.

Bundy's performance continues to be a concern. In a year where the Orioles were hoping both he and -- who was traded to Atlanta at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline -- took a step forward, Bundy has struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark.

"He's trying to go in and the ball leaks out over the plate, he's trying to go away and jerks it middle in," manager Buck Showalter said. "I talked to him a little up the runway. I can only imagine his frustration. It's kind of like a power hitter, just can't get to it or put the ball in play. We've all seen how good he's capable of being. We've got to figure out why, because I know he's got a level of frustration that's tough to see."

After a 4.35 first-half ERA, Bundy pitched to an 8.38 ERA in four July starts and a 9.24 mark in five August games. He looked to be turning a corner last weekend in Kansas City, but Friday's clunker -- which included five walks -- was another step back.

The Orioles say it is too early to make a decision on whether to shut down Bundy for the season. Amid the most prolonged ineffective stretch of his career, Bundy is hoping he can come out on the other side soon.

"Mechanically, I can't really find anything. I've put a finger on it too much," he said. "I think I've got to get better executing pitches and throw the ball with a little bit more conviction."

ORTIZ DEBUTS

Right-handed pitcher made his Major League debut in the bottom of the seventh inning, loading the bases before recording his first out. He appeared to be out of the frame thanks to defensive help from second baseman , who made a diving play to throw out , only for the call to be overturned by replay review. Ortiz's night ended after a two-out walk and he was charged with three runs.

Related

SOUND SMART

The Orioles have hit the 100-loss mark for the third time while located in Baltimore, with the most recent instance having come in 1988. They also hit the marker in 1954.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

Orioles starter , who was hit in the face trying to catch a football pregame Friday, spent the first few innings in the dugout wearing an LSU helmet.

"For me immediately, I was just trying to make sure I could see," said Hess, who saw an ophthalmologist after the incident and is on track to start Saturday. " And once I could see, I knew I was OK. So that was good. But definitely something I've got to be careful with going forward."

MITEL REPLAY REVIEW

thought he had a homer to left field to start the fifth, but it was ruled foul. The review held up under a crew chief review, and Nunez later flied out.

HE SAID IT

"I could not entirely tell you where the LSU helmet came from. It appeared in the second inning and I was told to wear it, so I wore it." -- Hess, on his headwear protection

UP NEXT

Hess will take the mound Saturday for the second game of the series against the Rays. Tampa Bay will counter with right-hander as the opener in the 6:10 p.m. ET game.