The last thing the Mariners needed Tuesday night was for Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy, a former first-round pick, to harness all of his gifts and pitch the best game of his career.
The Mariners got just one hit in a 4-0 loss to the Bundy and the Orioles at Camden Yards, which extended their skid to four games and dropped them back under .500 at 66-67.
That one hit was a shift-beating bunt single by Kyle Seager with one out in the fourth inning. Bundy (13-8) struck out a career-high 12 while walking two and hitting one batter in a thoroughly dominating 116-pitch performance.
“Dylan Bundy was outstanding,” manager Scott Servais said. “He had good stuff, and he executed. He was all over the different quadrants of the strike zone, and we just got nothing going offensively.
“We’ve talked often on this road trip that we have to hit, we have to score runs, we just haven’t done that the last three or four days. We really got nothing going tonight at all, and I attribute a lot of it to (Bundy).”
It was the first complete game — and first shutout — of Bundy’s career. But this had been building. He entered the night on a run of four straight quality starts and had struck out 10 in two of his three previous starts.
The Mariners were overmatched all night in suffering their third one-hit loss of the season. Servais said there was “no doubt” that Bundy delivered the best performance this season by an opposing pitcher.
“He was ahead in the count,” Servais said. “He was using all of his pitches. The changeups early in the game. Some breaking balls later and elevated the fastball. You’ve got to tip your cap to him.”
The loss dropped the Mariners to three games behind Minnesota in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth.
Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (5-5) deserved better after limiting the Orioles to a pair of solo homers in six innings.
Jonathan Schoop opened the scoring with a 416-foot bomb with two outs in the first inning, but Manny Machado’s leadoff drive in the sixth inning barely skimmed over the left-field wall.
James Pazos and Casey Lawrence each gave up a leadoff homer after replacing Ramirez. Welington Castillo opened with seventh with a drive against Pazos, and Machado got his second of the game to start the eighth against Lawrence.
***Wasted outing: Ramirez produced his fourth straight quality start while holding the Orioles to five hits in six innings. He also struck out a season-high seven.
“He was sharp,” Servais said. “He kept the ball down for the most part. He had the good sinker and the cutter going. He gave us a chance. We just did nothing to help him out offensively.”
Ramirez has a 2.63 ERA over his last four starts, which roughly correlates to the point where he was stretched out after pitching as a reliever at Tampa Bay prior to returning to the Mariners in a July 28 trade for reliever Steve Cishek.
“He’s been exactly what we thought we were getting,” Servais said. “Somebody who could come in and get through a lineup three times. He has.”
***Golden sombrero: None of the Mariners did much against Bundy but nobody did less than Danny Valencia, which struck out in all four of his at-bats — including the final out of the game.
Striking out four times in a game is known as a golden sombrero. The term is believed to originate from a three-strikeout game being termed a “hat trick.” Striking out four times requires a bigger hat. A sombrero.
Valencia started in right field for a second straight game in place of slumping Mitch Haniger, who is hitless in his last 18 at-bats. It will be interesting to see who starts Wednesday afternoon in the series finale.
***Strong arm of the law: Catcher Mike Zunino threw out two of the Orioles’ faster runners, Tim Beckham and Craig Gentry, on attempted steals of second base.
That continues a recent trend.
Zunino has thrown out five of 10 base-stealers in his past seven games and boosts his overall success rate to 28.6 percent (14 for 49).
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners