Confidence not an issue for Jimenez after loss

Confidence not an issue for Jimenez after loss

ANAHEIM -- It seemed like nothing could go right for Baltimore Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the third inning of Sunday's 10-2 loss to the Angels.

The first six Angels reached as part of a five-run outburst, giving Jimenez his second consecutive start where he allowed six earned runs. Yet, despite his recent struggles, Jimenez said his confidence is unwavering.

"It's always a test every time you aren't there for the team," Jimenez said. "I'm the type of guy who will never lose my confidence. I always have it in my mind that things are going to change."

The Angels didn't hit Jimenez particularly hard, but made a knack of just finding the right spots. Designated hitter Albert Pujols took a pitch way inside and found a way to muscle it down the line for a double. Two batters later, first baseman C.J. Cron fought off a ball that looked like it was going foul until right before it landed to bring home another run with a double.

Even back in the second inning, a broken-bat flare from catcher Carlos Perez was all the Angels needed to get on the board.

"That lop shot that they threw in out there unsettled him, but he made some good pitches," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They hit some balls hard, but a lot of them just fell in."

Added Jimenez: "There's nothing you can do. I think I made a couple good pitches in that inning. It just didn't go my way."

Jimenez rebounded, keeping the Angels scoreless for the next 2 2/3 innings before he was replaced by reliever Dylan Bundy. He flashed a lot of the ability that once made him one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Now, he just can't seem to make things go his way.

Showalter said he still sees that ability in Jimenez, though it has been a while since he's been able to do so consistently.

"That's part of the reason why every outing he has a chance to [win]," Showalter said. "You throw out that one inning, and we have a chance. I thought he was crisp today, too."

Showalter said he hasn't considered removing Jimenez from the rotation, citing a belief in his starter and the lack of a rotation-ready replacement.

"[Replace Ubaldo,] for who?" he said.

Jimenez said he still can't pinpoint one thing that has consistently plagued him. One start, it's fastball command. The next, his off-speed stuff. On Sunday, it was possibly just a case of balls finding holes. He's just hoping that changes soon.

"Things have to change one of these days."

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.