Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Bundy's strong start overshadowed by bullpen issues

April 05, 2018 - 9:29 am

By Joe Schiller 

In pitching duel between Dylan Bundy and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel Wednesday night, it was the Orioles’ young ace that stole the show.

Bundy thoroughly outpitched Keuchel and notched his second quality start in two appearances this season. He struck out eight batters and allowed just one earned run in six innings but more bullpen blunders left him winless as the Orioles dropped the series finale in disappointing fashion to the Houston Astros.

In a Chris Davis-less lineup, the Orioles took an early 2-1 lead in the first four innings thanks to an Adam Jones groundout that scored Tim Beckham from third base along with a throwing error that scored Danny Valencia.

Bundy overpowered the defending champs on the mound, commanding his pitches and using a nasty slider in the process. It wasn’t until Buck Showalter pulled the plug on Bundy’s start in a 2-2 ballgame that the Astros found production on the scoreboard.

In what’s been a common theme so far in the early regular season, bullpen struggles cost the Orioles the game. A reliable Miguel Castro took over in the seventh inning and walked Derek Fisher, which proved to be costly. Fisher stole his way to second base and scored what ended up being the winning run off an Alex Bregman single.

The club's strong bullpen reputation hasn't held up through the early portions of the season as they've allowed 14 earned runs on the back-end.

The Orioles have now lost five straight since their Opening Day win over the Minnesota Twins.  The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they head to the Bronx today for a four-game divisional series against the New York Yankees.