Ubaldo coming through when needed most

O's righty has delivered back-to-back quality starts while filling in for Tillman

Ubaldo coming through when needed most

BALTIMORE -- Ubaldo Jimenez is stepping up at a very big time.

Jimenez, who was taken out of the rotation earlier this year, fired 6 2/3 innings and held first-place Toronto to three runs in the Orioles' 5-3, series-evening win on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

"It feels really good. It's something I wanted to do since the beginning of the year," Jimenez said of helping the Orioles, who are three back in the American League East. "I wasn't able to, but I never give up. I always figure out a way to get up and be there for the team, and I've been able to be there for [injured starter Chris Tillman] the last two games. Hopefully it keeps going."

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Jimenez, added into the rotation with Tillman sidelined, has posted back-to-back quality outings and owns a 2.55 ERA with 15 strikeouts over his last three starts.

"It's really impressive, going from not throwing very much at all to be able to have two quality starts against two of the better-hitting lineups in baseball," Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said of Jimenez, who lowered his ERA to 6.46 in the process.

"It shows you that he comes with a professional attitude, even when he hasn't been pitching, which is great. I know his year probably hasn't gone how he wanted it to go, but to be able to stay mentally focused to give us a good outing when he needed it is huge."

After allowing one run through six innings, Jimenez gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Michael Saunders in the seventh. The righty still left to a strong round of applause from the home crowd for his effort.

"You can say a lot of different things about things that happened in the game," manager Buck Showalter said, "but none of it means anything if we don't get that type of start from him."

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.