Jimenez searching for consistent command

Right-hander allows six runs over 4 1/3 innings in loss to Mariners

Jimenez searching for consistent command

BALTIMORE -- Ubaldo Jimenez tried, but he couldn't fully recovery from a 34-pitch first inning, as the right-hander went a season-low 4 1/3 innings in Tuesday's 10-0 loss to Seattle.

The outing, which saw Jimenez drop to 2-4 with a 5.60 ERA in eight starts this season, continued a recent trend. Jimenez has gone five or fewer innings in three of his past four games.

"It's disappointing," Jimenez said of his recent struggles to go deep. "As a starting pitcher you want to get deeper and give your team a chance to win. But it's just part of the game. I have to keep working and find a way to move on and get ready for my next one."

After allowing a pair of first-inning runs to former teammate Nelson Cruz, Jimenez looked to be finding his stride and retired 12 of 13. But things went awry in the fifth and he lost Seth Smith on an 0-2 count, leading to a one-out walk. The Mariners followed that up with back-to-back RBI singles to end Jimenez's night.

"It was tough," Jimenez said of being bogged down in the first. "Especially since they didn't make it easy for me. They had a good approach, they were hitting the ball the opposite way instead of just trying to hit home runs. They hit the ball wherever I threw."

The right-hander, who threw 50 of 90 pitches for strikes, was charged with six runs -- two of which scored after he left -- on five hits and four walks. Lefty Brian Matusz allowed a three-run homer to the first batter he faced, Kyle Seager, to tag Jimenez with two more runs.

"Just command," manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez's issue on Tuesday. "Command was a challenge for us tonight. A lot of times he kind of may give up some damage early, but most of the time he falls in place and gives us a chance there. Thought it was going to happen again tonight there in the fifth. Just left him again."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.