Ubaldo laments mistakes in nightmare sixth
KANSAS CITY -- The Orioles' starting pitching, while subject lately to a lot of shorter outings, had been largely able to avoid big innings.
That changed on Monday night, as slumping Ubaldo Jimenez unraveled in an ugly seven-run sixth inning, paving the way for an 8-3 loss to the Royals.
"That's what hurt the most [allowing all two-out runs]," said Jimenez, who has pitched to a 7.86 ERA in eight second-half starts. "Especially, I have [Omar] Infante, 0-2, supposed to put him away. But I made a big mistake and put the team in a bad position."
Staked to a 3-1 lead, Jimenez retired nine straight before Eric Hosmer's one-out double in the sixth. The right-hander recorded the next out before surrendering a game-tying two-run shot to Mike Moustakas, followed by a single and Alex Rios' double.
Still, Jimenez had a chance to get out of the two-out jam, facing No. 9 batter Infante with runners on second and third. Instead, Infante tripled deep over center fielder Adam Jones, scoring both to give Kansas City its first lead. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop's errant throw to third allowed Infante to scurry home and Jimenez, charged with six runs total in the inning, exited after that.
"He was pitching well. He just started elevating some fastballs and they made him pay for it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez, who tied a season high in allowing 10 hits and seven runs. "He was really commanding the ball well and just didn't that inning."
The inning, which also featured Lorenzo Cain's two-run single off righty Brad Brach, represented the largest by an Oriole opponent this season. It was also another missed opportunity to find a way for Jimenez, who had a 2.81 ERA in 17 first-half starts, to get back on track.
"I've been struggling a little with my mechanics, but tonight I felt really good with it," Jimenez said. "It wasn't about mechanics or anything it was just, made a couple mistakes that cost the game."