O's pitching woes front and center in Seattle

'It's been a challenge for us all year,' Showalter says after 4-game sweep

O's pitching woes front and center in Seattle

SEATTLE -- The Orioles' starting-pitching problems, a season-long struggle, were magnified in Seattle.

Sunday's starter Ubaldo Jimenez lasted 4 1/3 innings, tying a season high with six earned runs as the O's were swept in the four game series with a 9-4 loss. Jimenez, part of a rotation that has pitched to a 7.76 ERA in the first six games (2-4) of the road trip, now has a 6.95 ERA on the year.

"He just made a lot of mistakes command-wise," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez, who was coming off his first back-to-back wins this season. "He was crisp, too. Had pretty good stuff early on. Just a lot of counts have been a challenge for him. He gets counts in his favor and he either runs it back 3-2 or makes a mistake 0-2. Those guys like Seth Smith, he's hot, they aren't going to miss those pitches. Couple mental mistakes, too."

The Orioles' starters have had quality starts in just five of their last 16 games and Baltimore was outscored in the four-game series at Safeco Field, 31-15.

"It's disappointing," Jimenez said. "There's no doubt about it. As a starting pitcher, you want to be the best out there for your team. We haven't been able to do the job. It's not fun. At all. We have to find a way to get back on track and keep fighting."

The rotation problems have caused a lot of work for the bullpen and Showalter said they'd look at things to see if the team needed to add another arm before Monday's series opener in Los Angeles. The rotation has covered just 29 innings in their past six games.

"I'm not disappointed in anybody," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. "Because they are going out there giving it their all. So, at the end of the day, you have to understand that the people in the box make hefty salaries also. When you have guys on base for Smith, [Nelson] Cruz, [Robinson] Cano, [Kyle] Seager, [Adam] Lind, those guys have a track record of getting RBIs. It's the same on this side. If a pitcher gives up homers to us are you going to say he had a bad night or we did good? Tip your cap, they hit our pitching. Move on."

"It's been a challenge for us all year," Showalter said of the rotation. "We've got to get that corrected if we are going to get where we want to go."

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.