Jimenez found himself Wednesday night and pitched the Orioles to a 2-0 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Jimenez went 7 2/3 shutout innings, while allowing two hits, walking four and striking out three. The difference from the first two starts?
"I was able to get on top of the ball and make it sink," Jimenez said, "instead of being flat and like it was my first two games."
Jimenez only allowed two baserunners in the third through seventh innings -- both on walks.
"Once I got in a groove, I was able to throw everything for strikes," Jimenez said.
A walk to Billy Hamilton in the eighth effectively ended Jimenez's night. Hamilton walked with out and stole second. After he went to third on Jose Peraza's groundout, Showalter brought on left-hander Donnie Hart to face Joey Votto. Hart got Votto foul out to left fielder Craig Gentry.
Jimenez, the 34-year-old right-hander, is in the final year of his four-year, $50 million contract. He was 8-12 with a 5.44 ERA overall last year. The Orioles, of course, are hoping for better, and Wednesday was a good sign.
"That's about as good as you'll see him in his delivery," Showalter said. "His velocity has come earlier than it has the last three years. That bodes well. The only thing he was working on is being more consistent in the delivery. It's an ongoing challenge for him."
Jimenez improved to 4-0 against the Reds with a 2.51 ERA.
John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.