CHICAGO -- There wasn't necessarily a time on Thursday when Dylan Bundy concerned himself with whether he would finish what he had started. In the right-hander's mind, as long as he kept throwing strikes, how long he remained on the mound for the Orioles would take care of itself.After the
CHICAGO -- There wasn't necessarily a time on Thursday when Dylan Bundy concerned himself with whether he would finish what he had started. In the right-hander's mind, as long as he kept throwing strikes, how long he remained on the mound for the Orioles would take care of itself.
After the Orioles' offense erupted for nine runs over the first three innings, Bundy took care of the rest with a career-high 14 strikeouts in a complete-game two-hitter in a 9-3 victory over the White Sox that earned the Orioles a split in the four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Bundy became the fastest Oriole to reach 300 strikeouts as a starter. Bundy's eighth-inning strikeout of Charlie Tilson got him to strikeout No. 300 in his 53rd start. He fanned Yoan Moncada to close the eighth for his 14th strikeout, the most by an Orioles pitcher since Erik Bedard struck out 15 in 2007.
"I was just trying to attack the hitters with fastballs early in the count and try to get ahead as best I could," Bundy said.
And about his desire to remain on the mound for the entire nine innings?
"I was just going out there every inning until they told me not to," Bundy said.
The strategy worked throughout Bundy's second career complete game. He recorded two strikeouts in each of the first four innings after the Orioles' offense -- which had only produced six runs over the first three games of the series -- came alive.
Trey Mancini and Adam Jones opened the second inning with back-to-back home runs as the Orioles chased White Sox starter Lucas Giolito early. The consecutive blasts were the third time this season the Orioles have hit back-to-back homers, and they only made what started as a bad day for Giolito worse.
The three-run second followed a four-run first, which provided Bundy with plenty of run support. Giolito walked in the Orioles' first two runs before Chance Sisco broke the inning open with a two-run single. White Sox reliever Chris Beck, who replaced Giolito with one out in the second, walked in another run before getting the inning's final out.
Manny Machado and Pedro Alvarez capped the scoring with RBI singles in the third inning to give the Orioles a commanding 9-0 lead before Jose Rondon got the White Sox on the board with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. The homer, along with Omar Narvaez's seventh-inning single were the only hits Bundy allowed
"He pretty much had all four pitches [working]," Sisco said. "When he's got that going, you can do a lot with it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After piling on Giolito for four runs in the first, the back-to-back homers by Mancini and Jones began to spell the beginning of the end for Giolito. The two homers were part of a 12-hit attack that not only gave Bundy plenty of breathing room, but provided some punch for an Orioles offense that had been struggling to produce.
"We were patient, trying to get a good hit and for the most part, we weren't missing," Sisco said.
With his 14 strikeouts, Bundy joined Bedard and Mike Mussina as the only Orioles pitchers to record at least 14 strikeouts in a game since 1957. Bedard struck out 15 in 2007, and Mussina struck out at least 14 hitters four times in his career.
HE SAID IT
"[Bundy] went out there and pitched the bottom of the first like it was the seventh game of the World Series and kept putting zeros up. That really relaxes people. That's why we were able to score three more runs and two more runs and even [helped us] defensively. You make runs matter by pitching well." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter
David Hess could be in line to make his third Major League start on Friday, although Showalter had yet to officially name a starter for the 7:10 p.m. ET series opener against the Rays by the end of Thursday's game. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash waited until Thursday to announce that he'd start relievers for all three games this weekend, which prompted Showalter to keep from tipping his hand. Hess, who made his big league debut May 12 against the Rays, is coming off a rough outing against the Red Sox in which he allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.