BALTIMORE -- For five innings Thursday night, it seemed Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez may have turned a corner. He entered the contest 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in his past three outings, but it took the Red Sox's red-hot offense nine batters to record a baserunner and 14 batters to
BALTIMORE -- For five innings Thursday night, it seemed Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez may have turned a corner. He entered the contest 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in his past three outings, but it took the Red Sox's red-hot offense nine batters to record a baserunner and 14 batters to notch their first hit.
In the sixth inning, though, Jimenez faltered in the Orioles' 12-7 win over the Red Sox at Camden Yards. He allowed all six batters he faced to reach base and David Ortiz took him deep for a three-run homer.
In the matter of minutes, Jimenez's shutout had turned into a five-run outing and a 5-4 deficit. Manager Buck Showalter pulled him before he recorded an out in the sixth, but Jimenez said he won't remember the start for that inning. He'll reflect on his five innings of one-hit ball.
"I had a tough inning," Jimenez said. "That's not going to erase how I felt in the first five innings. That's what I'm going to take for tomorrow, for the next day, and get ready for whenever I have to pitch next."
The difference between the first five innings and the sixth, Jimenez said, was his command. After keeping his fastball down early in the start, he allowed a few to drift up in the zone.
The Red Sox didn't miss them. Christian Vazquez, the No. 9 hitter, started the rally with a double. After a walk and a single, Xander Bogaerts ripped a two-run single off the wall. One batter later, Ortiz crushed a 2-1 curveball over the right-field wall.
"They just came out swinging," Jimenez said. "They hit pretty much everything I threw."
Still, the first five innings provides hope for the Orioles. Jimenez attacked a Red Sox lineup that entered the night with a league-leading 317 runs. When Jimenez walked Vazquez on four pitches in the third, he bounced back with a three-pitch strikeout of Mookie Betts, who tormented Baltimore in the first three games.
Showalter said it was tough to have to pull him before the end of the sixth, but there was still the five previous strong innings to look back on.
"It tugs at you, going out there," Showalter said. "I know how much he wanted to pitch well and was doing really well against probably as good an offensive team as there is in baseball right now."
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.