BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter is trying to get the most out of Dylan Bundy during his first full season as a major league starter. By giving the right-hander extra rest, Showalter is trying to make sure Bundy gets through the season.
In his first start since July 23, Bundy was strong, allowing one unearned run on three hits in eight innings -- his longest major league start -- during the Orioles' 7-2 win against the Kansas City Royals before 20,931 at Oriole Park Aug. 1.
The Orioles have won four straight and are two games under .500 (52-54) for the first time since July 3.
Bundy, who retired the final 13 Kansas City hitters, appears to have thrived on extra rest.
"I don't think anyone is ever going to know if it benefits you or not," Bundy said of the extra rest. "Sometimes it doesn't benefit you and you're out there a little wild, a little rusty. But tonight I think it definitely worked in my favor, and I felt great out there."
When he hasn't pitched in six or more days, Bundy has a 2.52 ERA. His season ERA is 4.24.
"It means I need to get better in a five-man rotation, I guess," Bundy said. "Because that's how we pitch, with four days rest on the fifth day."
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will make his Orioles debut Aug. 2. Hellickson, who came to the Orioles from the Philadelphia Phillies July 28, gives the Orioles six starters and allows Showalter the opportunity to provide that extra rest for Bundy, who has pitched a career-high 127.1 innings this season.
On Sept. 1, rosters expand to 40 players, and while Showalter decries the rule, he takes full advantage of it. For now, with Hellickson, the Orioles have six starters, and that could be the case for the rest of the season.
"It's a possibility," Showalter said. "I'd like to get to a four-man bench."
Currently, the Orioles have 13 pitchers and 12 position players, and Showalter will try to continue to program additional rest for Bundy.
"We had it set up whether we had five or six starters. There's a lot of imagination," Showalter said. "You could float the starters in and out. I'll tell you, there's nothing wrong [in] August and September having some pitchers with extra rest."
The Orioles had 15 hits, including five doubles. Third baseman Manny Machado has five doubles in his last three games.
Hellickson, who has a 5.01 ERA in nine career games at Oriole Park, is trying to think about his new home field positively.
"I never liked coming here," Hellickson said. "I think that had more to do with the offense I was going to have to face than the park."
NOTES: DH Mark Trumbo had an MRI on his injured right rib cage, and Showalter said he hoped Trumbo would be able to play when he's eligible Aug. 9. … Hellickson will face left-hander Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00) in the final game of the series. … With his 1,481st win, Showalter passed Earl Weaver for 24th place on the all-time win list.