BALTIMORE -- Before Tuesday's game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hoped that Ubaldo Jimenez, who entered with a 6.58 ERA, was ready to get on one of his rolls. After a solid long-relief outing in Boston last week, Jimenez made good on his manager's wish.The righty matched reigning National
BALTIMORE -- Before Tuesday's game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hoped that Ubaldo Jimenez, who entered with a 6.58 ERA, was ready to get on one of his rolls. After a solid long-relief outing in Boston last week, Jimenez made good on his manager's wish.
The righty matched reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer for most of the evening, taking a no-decision in Baltimore's 5-4, 12-inning win over the Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
"Ubaldo pitched real well. He's one of the reasons why we [were in that game]," Showalter said of Jimenez, who was done in by Adam Lind, three-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth. "When you've got a guy like Scherzer out there, you know runs are going to be at a premium for your offense, so you've got to really dial up a good one, and he did. Really proud of him. That was a really good lineup, and he pitched well."
Jimenez, who matched his season-high with 7 2/3 innings, allowed four runs -- three of which came on one swing of Lind's bat. While technically not a quality start, it was a solid outing nonetheless. And perhaps a sign that Jimenez, who was one of the O's most consistent pitchers down the stretch last year, is starting to get on a roll.
"I was able to, in the first inning, command the fastball right away," said Jimenez, who struck out six and allowed five hits. "I felt good, I thought everything is good. I just had to have confidence and execute the pitches."
After a solo homer to Daniel Murphy in the second inning, Jimenez cruised through the middle part of the game. With an increasing pitch count and a limited bullpen, Showalter sent Jimenez out for the eighth and tried to squeeze a few extra outs. The Nats recorded a pair of singles before Lind's big blow, which temporarily gave Washington the lead. But it didn't damper Jimenez's 112-pitch effort.
"I look at all the positives. I was pitching good," Jimenez said. "It never feels good when you give up a homer, especially in that game in the eighth inning. It's one of the worst feelings. But it's part of the game. You have to keep moving, and the guys picked me up."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.