Ubaldo labors, but battles through five
MINNEAPOLIS -- While dropping eight of 10 games, the Orioles haven't provided their pitchers with a lot of support. That was the case on Wednesday for Ubaldo Jimenez, who received just one run while working in and out of jams during five shutout innings. He ended up with a no-decision in the Orioles' 5-3 loss to Minnesota.
Jimenez gave up seven hits and walked three batters, but he kept the Twins off the board and gave his team a chance to win. Minnesota got to relievers Bud Norris and Chaz Roe in the sixth and seventh.
"He was frustrated. He likes to get deep in the game, but at the end of five innings, there were five zeroes up there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez. "[Minnesota] had people in scoring position, couldn't do much with it. It's not as easy as it looks."
The Twins had no problem getting runners on, but they went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position against Jimenez.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and stole both second and third. After consecutive walks to Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano, Jimenez got both Torii Hunter and Eddie Rosario on swinging strikeouts.
"They find a way to get on base. It doesn't matter how," Jimenez said. "They work the count a lot. It seems like I [had] a 3-2 count on most of the hitters, and then I didn't have my breaking ball."
It took Jimenez 33 pitches to get through the first inning and 110 through five, which prompted his early exit. After the first, he said he went more to his two-seam fastball, because the ball was carrying at Target Field.
"In the first inning, I threw way too many breaking balls, and then I was falling behind in counts," Jimenez said. "But after that, I kept making pitches inside to a lefty and down and away to righties."
Jimenez lowered his ERA to 2.81 in his final start of the first half.
"When you're having a good year like he's having, in those situations, you fight your way through," Showalter said. "We're just not giving pitchers much margin for error offensively."