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Jimenez works through command issues vs. Sox

Right-hander allows three runs in difficult first inning
MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was a busy start to the game for Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday night. Eight Red Sox batters faced Jimenez in the first inning and three scored, leading to a 4-0 Orioles loss.

Jimenez allowed three hits and a walk in the first inning. Four of the first five Red Sox hitters he faced reached base, including a leadoff triple to Marco Hernandez and RBI singles from Chris Young and Sam Travis.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was a busy start to the game for Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday night. Eight Red Sox batters faced Jimenez in the first inning and three scored, leading to a 4-0 Orioles loss.

Jimenez allowed three hits and a walk in the first inning. Four of the first five Red Sox hitters he faced reached base, including a leadoff triple to Marco Hernandez and RBI singles from Chris Young and Sam Travis.

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Jimenez rebounded over the next two innings, retiring the side in order in each frame. He struck out Ramirez and Travis to end the third. Jimenez threw 57 pitches -- 36 strikes -- with 31 coming in the first inning.

Looking to get a fourth "up and down," Jimenez came back to face one batter and gave up a single to Swihart, which ended his night.

"That's the point in trying to get into the fourth inning," Jimenez said. "It doesn't matter if I only face one hitter but warming up in between innings, it's going to help."

Swihart eventually scored an unearned run charged to Jimenez to end the fourth. Making his third Grapefruit League start, Jimenez went three-plus innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

"I feel good," Jimenez said. "I feel really good. Physically, mentally, everything's good. I'm just throwing the pitches that I need in order to be ready for the season."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was satisfied with what he saw from Jimenez.

"He was good after [the first inning]," Showalter said. "He was able to get that fourth up. That was good for him. He's kind of ahead of the curve [compared] to where he was in the past in the spring. … It looked like he was 91, 92. That's a break from the past. He's had a little trouble finding his way at the start [in past years]."

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Jimenez