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Smith, Orioles strike early in 7-2 win over Diamondbacks

July 24, 2019
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Baltimore Orioles' Dwight Smith Jr., right, watches the flight of his three-run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila, left, looks on during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Baltimore Orioles' Dwight Smith Jr., right, watches the flight of his three-run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila, left, looks on during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Dylan Bundy’s right knee felt fine after a 10-day stint on the injured list with tendinitis, and the Baltimore Orioles right-hander got some early run support from his teammates Tuesday night.

Dwight Smith Jr. hit a three-run homer, Bundy pitched six solid innings and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.

Renato Núñez and Anthony Santander also homered for the Orioles, with Núñez raising his team-leading total to 24. Bundy (5-11) allowed two runs, four hits and three walks while striking out five for his second win in three starts.

“I was a little off mechanically the first two, maybe three innings,” Bundy said. “After that third, I really started to lock in there. But really got a lot of help from the defense with three double plays. That was huge.”

Baltimore executed double plays in three straight innings and has won four of six despite entering Tuesday with the worst winning percentage in the majors.

T.J. McFarland struck out a career high six in 2 2/3 innings of relief work for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three of four and fell three games out of the second National League wild card.

The Orioles tagged Merrill Kelly (7-10) for three runs in the second inning and four more in the third, chasing the Diamondbacks starter after 2 1/3 innings.

“Is it a bad loss? Yes. I think after the seven runs were scored we got a little flatlined,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “No doubt about it. There was a tiny bit of energy. We hit a couple of balls hard and didn’t have anything to show for it.”

Núñez hit his second home run in two days and third in four games during the second, clubbing a 1-2 pitch from Kelly on a line into the left field seats. After Smith singled, Santander went deep into the right field seats to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

Kelly helped himself in the bottom of the inning, slapping a bases-loaded single — his first major league hit — to drive in two. Bundy collected himself, finished the inning and went on to toss four more scoreless frames.

“Knee felt great. They didn’t want me on the bases today ... they didn’t want me to run,” Bundy said.

“No issues,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was huge to get through that second inning, and then we scored some runs and he got a shutdown inning for us and got us through six.”

The Orioles took control in the third, with Núñez driving in Trey Mancini with a single and Smith hitting his 12th home run.

Kelly was charged with seven runs and eight hits with four strikeouts, his shortest outing since May 22 when he lasted just 1 2/3 innings at San Diego.

“It definitely makes you scratch your head a little bit,” Kelly said. “I haven’t been squared up like that in a while.”

ROSTER MOVE

The Diamondbacks sent utility player Ildemaro Vargas, up with the club since May 21, back to Triple-A Reno after Tuesday’s game. A corresponding roster move is to be made by Wednesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: OF-DH Mark Trumbo, who is coming back from right knee surgery, has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk. He’s been on the 60-day injured list since March 25 after having surgery last September.

Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta served as the designated hitter Tuesday night in the rookie-level Arizona League in his rehab from a right shoulder injury. Lovullo said Peralta could be ready to return soon. He’s been out most of July.

UMP KNOCK

Home plate umpire Jim Reynolds took Jarrod Dyson’s foul tip off the bottom of his mask in the eighth inning and was checked by a Diamondbacks trainer. Reynolds finished the game.

UP NEXT

Orioles: LHP John Means (8-5, 2.95 ERA) goes into his start against Arizona on Wednesday having lasted at least five innings in every start since April 14.

Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (2-3, 6.50 ERA) is set for his 12th appearance of the season. He’s lasted five innings just twice since May 25.

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