MINNEAPOLIS -- Having not pitched in a game in 12 days, Dylan Bundy's command was off in his return to the Orioles' rotation. The right-hander struggled coming off the disabled list Friday as Baltimore lost, 6-2, to the Twins.
Bundy (6-8) was activated prior to the game after recovering from a left ankle sprain. In his first start since June 23, he lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered six runs (five earned) on nine hits, while striking out two.
"Leaving pitches down the middle of the plate," Bundy said. "That was pretty much how the whole game was, throwing stuff right down the middle."
Caleb Joseph had a season-high three hits and Manny Machado added a pair of hits, but the Orioles lost for the 11th time in 12 games.
"With a guy that's had a lot of time off, it's not something you expect, but you get it," said Joseph, Baltimore's catcher. "When he's going and mechanically sound, he can usually put it right where he wants to, which is why he's been so successful, not only this year but in his career. He was fighting getting the ball where he wanted to."
Lance Lynn (6-7) gave up one run in six innings for Minnesota.
Bundy allowed hits to the first three batters he faced in a three-run first inning. He settled in with two strong frames before Minnesota got to him again in the fourth. Max Kepler hit a towering, two-run homer in the inning, and Joe Mauer ended Bundy's night with an RBI single.
Bundy didn't make a rehab start after recovering quickly from the ankle sprain. He was 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four June starts before the injury.
"I thought he settled in there in the second and third inning and looked like Dylan, and then got the ball back up again," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Command of the fastball, he got a couple changeups up, but he'll be better. He'll be better. A lot of things I worry about here -- Dylan's not one of them."
The Orioles were unable to do much against Lynn early and missed chances for more offense later. Joey Rickard grounded out with the bases loaded to end the top of the fourth.
Three straight hits culminated with an RBI single by Chris Davis in the fifth, but a double play and groundout ended the threat prematurely. Joseph scored in the seventh on an error by first baseman Logan Morrison, and Timothy Beckham was thrown out at home on a single by Machado.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Game-changing catch: Baltimore looked to take an early lead on the first swing of the game. Beckham hit a long drive to straight-away center field, but Minnesota outfielder Jake Cave went up and robbed Beckham of a home run.
It was the second straight game Cave had made a leaping catch at the wall against the Orioles. He took a hit away from Chris Davis in Thursday's win. Then the Twins proceeded to score three runs in the bottom of the first.
"It seems like it's par for the course for the 2018 season," Joseph said. "He smokes the ball off a nice starter on their side. You get excited, and the guy makes a tremendous play. [He] made one yesterday, too. They made some nice plays on defense and before you blink, you're down 3-0. Not only get the wind knocked out of your sails when a guy robs a home run, but you're down."
Electric Fryer: Bundy received a bit of help from the bullpen in the fourth inning. Five of the first six batters reached base but rookie reliever Paul Fry came in to stop the run. Fry fielded a comebacker and threw to second base for the first out and then struck out James Dozier to end the inning.
Fry struck out four batters over 2 1/3 scoreless innings and hasn't allowed a run over his first three career appearances.
"Paulie was impressive," Showalter said. "Pitching looks easy when you locate a fastball and spin a ball for a strike anytime in the count, but it's not that easy. He was in a really good place today and you could tell."
HE SAID IT
"I was just trying not to strike out. I'm tired of striking out, tired of punching out, trying to give yourself a chance. You can let the ball get deep and trust that you can still put the barrel on it. Sometimes it goes to right. I'd like it say it was intentional but [I] swung and the ball went to right field. It was just a conscious effort to try not to punch as munch. It's a lonely walk back to the dugout." -- Joseph said of his three-hit night that included a pair of hits to the opposite field.
Right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-6, 4.05 ERA) will look to continue his strong run for Baltimore in Saturday's 2:10 p.m. ET start against Minnesota. Gausman has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last four starts, posting a 2.45 ERA in that span, but the Orioles have managed just one win in those contests. The Twins will send right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-6, 3.58) to the mound.