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Bundy stumbles, unable to stop Orioles' slide

Jones, Valencia hit HRs; offense slowed by 4 double plays
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Through a rough start to the Orioles' season, Dylan Bundy has been a constant. Bundy -- who emerged as the ace last year -- stormed out of the gates after getting the Opening Day nod, pitching to a 1.42 ERA in his first five starts. But as the O's continue to slide in the wrong direction, even Bundy stumbled Thursday night.

The Orioles right-hander surrendered a season-high seven earned runs (eight total) over a season-low 4 2/3 innings, paving the way for Thursday's 9-5 loss to Tampa Bay. The defeat, which featured three errors and four double plays, is the O's 11th in 12 games and their fifth straight.

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BALTIMORE -- Through a rough start to the Orioles' season, Dylan Bundy has been a constant. Bundy -- who emerged as the ace last year -- stormed out of the gates after getting the Opening Day nod, pitching to a 1.42 ERA in his first five starts. But as the O's continue to slide in the wrong direction, even Bundy stumbled Thursday night.

The Orioles right-hander surrendered a season-high seven earned runs (eight total) over a season-low 4 2/3 innings, paving the way for Thursday's 9-5 loss to Tampa Bay. The defeat, which featured three errors and four double plays, is the O's 11th in 12 games and their fifth straight.

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"I try to stay in the now and the now is not good, so we need to do something to change that," manager Buck Showalter said of his 6-19 club, which is off to its worst 25-game start to a season since going 2-23 in 1988. "That's up to us. Our guys know what's at stake. It's not 'Oh, we'll get them tomorrow.' It's every day. Every day you are trying to figure out a way to get going in the right direction. It's not just a matter of waiting for people to get healthy. You can't do that. The season doesn't stop."

Video: TB@BAL: Cron opens scoring with a two-run homer

Bundy struggled from the onset, issuing a game-opening walk and subsequent two-run homer to C.J. Cron. Wilson Ramos went deep for a two-run shot off the O's righty in the second inning, with Baltimore getting bullpen activity going in the third after three straight singles led to another run.

"I was trying to mix it up even more than I was, throw the curveball a little bit more, and they were able to hit that too," Bundy said. "They got off to a hot start there in two innings, and I couldn't really slow them down."

Video: TB@BAL: Ramos drills a two-run homer to left-center

Bundy -- coming off a dominant six innings against Cleveland -- allowed two runs in the third but was able to battle and make it to the fifth. In that frame, Joey Wendle singled on a ball that deflected off Adam Jones' foot to score Brad Miller, who had a leadoff double. Mallex Smith drove in Wendle to put the Rays up 8-2 and end Bundy's night. The righty was charged with 11 hits, after allowing five hits or fewer in four of his five games coming in.

"Defense has been hurting us, too. We did some things that we need to be better at to win at this level," Showalter said. "We have some well-pitched games and don't hit, and then have a guy who's pitched as well as anyone in the American League probably [in Bundy] has an off night. And that's a night that you'd like to see the offense bail him out because we certainly owed him one along the way this season so far."

But the O's offense couldn't come through despite tallying 16 hits on the night. Jones' two-run homer off Rays starter Chris Archer cut the deficit to 8-4 in the fifth.

Video: TB@BAL: Jones skies a two-run homer to center

The Orioles put two men on with no outs in the sixth but couldn't score after Archer -- who gave up 11 hits -- exited with one out in the frame. Former Orioles pitcher Chaz Roe got Trey Mancini to ground into a double play to quash the potential rally.

The O's threatened again in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out to force Rays manager Kevin Cash to dip into his bullpen again and bring on Jose Alvarado. Again, the O's grounded into an inopportune double play, this one coming from Chris Davis.

Video: TB@BAL: Roe gets Mancini to ground into a double play

"It's obviously disappointing. We'd be lying if we said this is where we thought we would be at the beginning of the season," said Danny Valencia, who hit a solo homer in the eighth off Sergio Romo. "We kind of gave ourselves a decent hole. This is the type of team that's pretty resilient. We have a lot of good players in here. It's easy to forget about that because you see the wins and the losses. I strongly believe that we have the capability of getting on a streak."

Video: TB@BAL: Valencia lines a solo jack to left

Mike Wright Jr. recorded four outs after Bundy left and combined with Mychal Givens and Brad Brach to go 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Tampa Bay pushed across a run in the ninth on catcher Chance Sisco's errant caught-stealing attempt that saw Carlos Gomez dash home.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dinged by double plays: After squandering chances in the sixth and seventh, the O's brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth. After Valencia's homer, Anthony Santander singled and pinch-hitter Sisco was hit by a pitch. But the double play prevailed again as Romo got Mancini to bounce to third for an inning-ending two-fer.

Video: TB@BAL: Romo induces inning-ending double play

SOUND SMART
Jones' two-run shot to the bullpen in the fifth marked his 557th extra-base hit as an Oriole. That ties him with Boog Powell for fifth place on the O's all-time list.

HE SAID IT
"The guys in here are not down on themselves. They're not mad by lack of effort. They're professionals understanding that the other team drives nice cars too. Sometimes it's unfortunate that we're the ones getting beat up on, but we've done a lot of beating up on other people. So we've just got to find a way to get up." -- Jones, on the O's slow start

UP NEXT
Chris Tillman will get the ball on Friday (7:05 p.m. ET) to open the three-game series against the Tigers at Oriole Park. Tillman gave up four runs over a season-high six innings against the Indians on Saturday, but he is still searching for his first win. The righty will be opposed by Tigers righty Mike Fiers.

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