Two costly innings derail Jimenez's day
O's starter retires 12 straight Tigers between 3-run frames
BALTIMORE -- A 12-batter stretch of perfection by Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was bookended and overshadowed by two rough innings on Sunday in a 6-1 loss to the Tigers.
"He was wild in the strike zone again," manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez (8-7, 4.04 ERA). "He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted to get it, especially with some counts in his favor."
As early as the top of the first inning, Jimenez found himself in a two-on, two-out mini-jam but came within one strike of posting a zero for the frame.
Instead, J.D. Martinez mashed his 29th home run of the season off a split-finger that camped out in the upper half of the strike zone.
"That was a really bad pitch," Jimenez said, "and they made me pay for it."
From there, he commenced a stretch of perfection that lasted until there were two outs in the fifth inning. Of the 12 outs, 11 were of the ground-ball or strikeout variety, a clear sign that Jimenez's splitter was working.
But it was the Tigers who landed the last punch, and it was a knockout blow.
With two outs and a 3-1 lead, Rajai Davis doubled to right field and advanced to third on a throwing error by Nolan Reimold. Though it wasn't clear yet, the wheels had fallen off.
The next three hitters combined for nine bases and three RBIs. Anthony Gose singled before he stole second by a little and third by a lot. Jose Iglesias tripled over Adam Jones on a ball the center fielder misplayed, and then scored on Ian Kinsler's single, which ended Jimenez's day. It was his third start since the All-Star break that didn't last five innings.
"In the fifth inning, everything went the other way," Jimenez said. "I think I made a couple of good pitches in the inning, but they still found a way to score."