Ubaldo bounces back in second spring start

Ubaldo bounces back in second spring start

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Even though it's only Spring Training, Ubaldo Jimenez was still relieved by Monday's outing.

"It feels way better than when you start giving up so many runs," said Jimenez, who tossed three scoreless innings in a solid bounce-back start. "The first thing I'm looking for is the things that I'm working on, but when you are able to get out of a situation like that, you feel good. You know that even though you're working on things, you have a better result when you have a good command of the fastball."

Jimenez located well in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Twins, walking one and striking out three. He gave up just one hit and finished with a 10-pitch third inning. It was a big improvement over his Grapefruit League debut, in which Jimenez gave up six earned runs to Atlanta while recording just one out.

"I had a better command of the fastball and the breaking ball," he said. "We kept doing what we were doing last time, which was throwing the curve and the changeup, and it was good. I was able to command it."

Jimenez, part of a rotation that also includes Yovani Gallardo, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman, knows how important starting pitching will be to the Orioles' success this season.

"It's not only about one guy. You could have one guy win 20 games and have a good season, but if the other ones don't do what they're supposed to, you're in trouble," Jimenez said. "So, that's the challenge we have, and that's what we are looking forward to do. To be there as a team."

Jimenez also got off to a rocky start last spring, but he turned things around and carried that into a solid first half of the regular season.

"Nothing has changed [this year] the way he's come into camp," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's actually a little lighter, but with the same frame. He's worked hard in the offseason. He's one of our most consistent pitchers. You could make a case he was last year. It's good to see him have a good outing."

Worth Noting:

• Shortstop Ozzie Martinez has been dealing with whiplash, Showalter said. Martinez was involved in an on-field collision on Sunday and is still going through the standard concussion protocol.

Brian Matusz (lower back strain) played catch on Sunday and Showalter said he'll be back, "sooner rather than later."

Matt Wieters will catch in Tuesday's game as well, marking the backstop's first back-to-back spring games behind the plate.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.