Upgraded Rangers lineup no match for Bundy

Young right-hander carries no-hitter into sixth inning in fourth MLB start

Upgraded Rangers lineup no match for Bundy

BALTIMORE -- It was hard for the Orioles' crowd to decide just what moments were most appropriate to celebrate rookie Dylan Bundy. But the way the 23-year-old pitched Tuesday night, it seemed only right for those assembled at Camden Yards to spend most of the evening on their feet.

And so they did, saluting Bundy after an impressive 11-pitch first inning, rising for an ovation when he lost a no-hitter in the sixth and giving the righty the largest cheer of the night when he walked off the mound in the seventh. Bundy's outing -- which paved the way for Baltimore's 5-1 win -- was one to remember and relish, particularly against such a lethal Texas lineup. Tuesday marked the Rangers debut of Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy, both of whom were added at Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"He was born with a gift to command a baseball," reliever Darren O'Day said of Bundy. "[We] enjoyed our time with him in the bullpen, but I think he's moved on to better things."

Bundy, who opened the game with a groundout and pair of strikeouts, was masterful from the start. In throwing his first career quality start in just his fourth try, Bundy was able to pound the strike zone early and often. He struck out seven Rangers in the process.

"I think keeping the ball in on some of those lefties they had in that lineup, and also mixing it up the whole game, not trying to get into a pattern," Bundy said of the reason for his success.

"Just to get six [innings], I was pleased with that and went back out there for the seventh and just had to focus a little bit more and locate a little better."

Bundy needed just 88 pitches to go seven innings, which is one fewer than he threw over 5 2/3 frames his last time out. Asked if he was relieved when the rookie gave up a hit -- to save him from a tough decision -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter quipped that he would never tell.

"You were disappointed because you were waiting to see what we were going to do," Showalter teased the media. "The seventh was his last inning regardless. That was going to be his last inning. That was a pretty good progression for him. He almost got through the sixth inning last time. ... I knew that was it for him. Usually, people stay away from the pitcher during no-hitters, but all the coaches were staying away from me. They were afraid I was going to ask what they thought."

Bundy said he didn't notice the crowd much on Tuesday night, but he was pleased that he was able to be more efficient. In retiring 20 of 22, Bundy -- who issued one walk -- turned in the longest start of his pro career, including the Minor Leagues.

"I think the power fastball, the ability to throw the up-and-down game," Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said of what made Bundy so good. "Fastball down, fastball up. He locked in on our guys on the inside and expanded when he needed to. I think there was the one hard hit ball by [Mitch] Moreland. It was a special night for Bundy tonight with how he was throwing the ball. There are times when you've got to tip your cap to a guy when he's got his stuff going like that."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.