Jimenez makes most of spot start

Orioles right-hander hoping for another chance in rotation

Jimenez makes most of spot start

BALTIMORE -- Ubaldo Jimenez knew at some point he'd get another chance at the rotation. And, though there's no telling when his next outing could be, the right-hander turned in a quality start -- his first since May 7 -- in Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Padres.

"I just wanted to get the job done, for sure," said Jimenez, who was demoted to the bullpen after a career-low one-out outing on June 12. "There's no more pressure than that. As a pitcher, I know how I was throwing before I got sent down to the bullpen. I was just trying to find a way to survive and get back on my feet."

Jimenez -- who had allowed 48 earned runs in 62 2/3 innings coming in -- held San Diego to two runs over six innings. He picked up his second win since April 13 against the last-place Padres, allowing four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.

"Bent, didn't break," manager Buck Showalter said of the outing. "What did he have, four walks? Stolen bases were a challenge, but made some good pitches and got through six innings. Gave our bullpen a rest. We didn't have many options down there tonight, so he delivered what we needed. It was good to see him go home and feel good about himself."

The 32-year-old Jimenez lowered his ERA from 7.34 to 6.97 and ended by striking out the side in the sixth inning. The key to his better outing was improved fastball command, and Jimenez said he didn't make any notable changes while in the 'pen.

"Not really," he said. "I think the approach was going back to the basics. Just see the target, hit the glove and try to get him out."

But will Jimenez get another chance to build off that start? Showalter wouldn't commit either way on Wednesday night.

"We have two more of that spot before the All-Star break," he said. "We're going to take it each day and put our best foot forward. Tonight, [Jimenez] was it. So, we'll see."

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.