Orioles starter, along with rest of rotation, struggling to go deeper into games
By Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- Ubaldo Jimenez's start on Wednesday might have ended differently if not for a pair of solid Blue Jays swings. The right-hander gave up his first two homers of the season, costing him his first four runs as well, as the Orioles fell to the Blue Jays, 4-2, at Rogers Centre.
With a 2-0 lead in fourth, Jimenez walked Edwin Encarnacion before Justin Smoak tied it with a two-run shot. Devon Travis then smacked a two-run homer to break the tie in the fifth, giving Toronto all the offense it would need. Jimenez said he would've liked to have both pitches back.
"Especially the one to Travis," said Jimenez, who went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits while recording three walks, all in the fourth inning. He threw 102 pitches. "I was supposed to throw a splitter down, and I left it right down the middle. The one to Smoak, I don't think it was that bad. At little bit up in the zone, but it was away. He just made a good swing."
The Smoak homer in the fourth snapped a 13 2/3 scoreless-innings streak for the 31-year-old, who's gone past the five-inning mark only once in his three starts this season.
Jimenez's inability to pitch deeper into the game doesn't only rest on his shoulders, though. None of the Orioles starters have been able to log six innings of work in a week -- a span of seven games.
"You put it into your mind that you want to go more than six," said Jimenez, who pitched only 3 2/3 innings in his previous start in which he was ejected for hitting Red Sox slugger Pablo Sandoval. "Trying to go deep into games so you can help the team ... we haven't been able to go deep into games."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter took no issue with Jimenez's outing, resting the responsibility on the offense to put up more runs.
"I thought Ubaldo gave us the chance to win, I don't have a lot of problems with that," Showalter said. "His stuff was good, and I thought the presentation was good. I'm OK with that. And it's a long way off after only throwing three or four innings."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.