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Ubaldo rediscovers breaking ball in second start

Special to MLB.com

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez threw three scoreless innings during a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, and allowed three hits and one walk. Two of the hits, the walk and a wild pitch came in the first inning.

"I think that as the days go by, you're going to feel more comfortable around there, especially in Spring Training," Jimenez said. "I think today I was trying to throw my breaking ball in the first inning. I couldn't get it in for a strike, but I got it back. That's why I was falling behind in the first."

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez threw three scoreless innings during a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, and allowed three hits and one walk. Two of the hits, the walk and a wild pitch came in the first inning.

"I think that as the days go by, you're going to feel more comfortable around there, especially in Spring Training," Jimenez said. "I think today I was trying to throw my breaking ball in the first inning. I couldn't get it in for a strike, but I got it back. That's why I was falling behind in the first."

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It was Jimenez's second start of the spring. On Tuesday, he allowed a run on three hits in two innings against the Yankees.

"Today I threw more breaking balls, because my first game I didn't have it," Jimenez said. "I had good fastball command, and today, I put it in my mind to go out there and throw my breaking balls for a strike. I was able to command the fastball.

The 33-year-old right-hander is in the final season of a four-year, $50 million contract, and realizes the right pace is key during Spring Training.

"You have to take it easy. You don't want to rush anything, especially because it's a long spring. You have to find a way to stay in your routine and do everything to get ready for the season, but at the same time don't rush it," Jimenez said.

This and that
The Orioles signed right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson to a Minor League contract, pending a physical. Johnson, who was 6-1 with a 4.26 ERA in four seasons with Orioles and Seattle, will report to Minor League camp.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.