By Brittany Ghiroli and Ryan Baillargeon
BALTIMORE -- Tuesday night was the clash of two first-place teams, the Orioles and the Rangers, who were both active in adding to their roster at Monday's Trade Deadline as they make the push for their respective division titles.
But despite all the new faces, it was rookie Orioles starter Dylan Bundy who stole the spotlight, throwing seven dominant one-hit innings to lead his club to a series-opening 5-1 win at Camden Yards.
"Of course, I knew it all along," Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked of Bundy's progression from the bullpen. "Of course not. Nobody knew. We're not that smart. And who knows what's going to happen [in the] next one? I wish it was that predictive. If it was, it would be a lot easier. But you never know. It's very hard to do what he's done these last few outings."
Pedro Alvarez homered twice to back the effort -- chasing Rangers starter Yu Darvish with his second -- and Adam Jones blasted his 21st homer of the year in the sixth. Darvish went 6 1/3 innings and was charged with three runs, all via solo homers, on six hits with nine strikeouts. Matt Wieters homered off Dario Alvarez in the seventh, going back to back with Pedro Alvarez to extend the lead to 4-0.
"I tip my cap to O'Day on that 3-2 slider," Desmond said. "That was a good pitch. I felt like I put a pretty good at-bat against him."
New Rangers Lucroy and Carlos Beltran each went hitless in their Texas debut.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bundy's brilliance: Bundy didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning, Andrus' two-out single. In just his fourth career start, he was masterful, holding down a lethal Texas lineup. He struck out seven and issued one walk in the 88-pitch outing.
"Every team in the big leagues has a good lineup. They are professional hitters for a reason, they are good at what they do. I don't look at it any particular way," Bundy said of handcuffing Texas. "I just go out there and try to compete and give the guys, six, seven innings if I can. And keep them in the game." More >
Newcomers struggle: It wasn't the debut Rangers fans envisioned for Lucroy and Beltran, who went a combined 0-for-6 with three strikeouts and a walk in their first game with Texas. Lucroy did come around to score the Rangers' lone run in the eighth after drawing a one-out walk. Manager Jeff Banister spoke pregame of the anticipation of watching the new-look lineup, but he noted that they still needed to produce. As a group, the Rangers managed just three hits.
"He just did a good job of hitting the glove really," Lucroy said of Bundy. "He made big pitches when he had to."
Twice as nice: Alvarez put the Orioles on the scoreboard with a solo shot in the fifth inning. He went deep again on Darvish's 2-2 pitch with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to chase him from the game. It marked Alvarez's second multi-homer game of the season and the 12th of his career.
"He very quietly, for about a month now, has been a real threat for us at a time of need. He's been a real contributor for us," Showalter said of Alvarez. "He's had solid at-bats and being a lot more selective. He hit breaking balls both times, didn't he? Actually the first one he hit was a pretty good pitch. He didn't get all of that, but he's just strong."
Darvish racks up Ks: Darvish had the Orioles' hitters off balance for much of the night, posting nine strikeouts in his 6 1/3 innings. He entered play averaging 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings this season, and he now has 35 strikeouts in his past four starts (22 2/3 innings). But it was the long ball that caused him trouble Tuesday. Though he entered with just three home runs allowed through his first five starts this season, he surrendered three solo blasts.
"He made great progress, in my opinion, on how he threw the baseball, just how he competed and how he attacked the strike zone," Banister said. More >
"It was fun. It's fun to catch when he's able to have all three of his pitches. He located his fastballs really good tonight. It gives me a lot of options to call, and for a young guy, he knows what he's doing. It's nice to work with a guy who has a game plan going in, and he's going to execute it." -- Wieters, on Bundy
The Orioles won their manager challenge in the eighth inning, when Nomar Mazara had a checked swing overruled. The review, which took one minute and eleven seconds, saw the O's retain their challenge.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers:Cole Hamels (12-2, 2.84) will look to continue his recent success when he takes on the Orioles at 6:05 p.m. CT at Camden Yards. The All-Star lefty has won each of his past three starts, pitching to a 0.84 ERA in that span. In his first start against the Orioles this season on April 14, he took a no-decision after allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Orioles: Baltimore will send Kevin Gausman to the hill for Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Rangers. The righty allowed three home runs in the first inning in Friday's loss to Toronto. Gausman tied a season low with three innings and was charged with six runs.