Jimenez's recent run may keep him in rotation

Jimenez's recent run may keep him in rotation

BALTIMORE -- With the arrival of Jeremy Hellickson, and the preference to not go to a six-man rotation, it seems someone on the Orioles' starting staff will lose their job. Righty Ubaldo Jimenez is making a strong case to stay.

Jimenez, who has been frustratingly erratic all season, tossed seven innings of one-run baseball for his second consecutive quality start in Monday's 2-1 walk-off win over the Royals.

"I don't think that you even think about [what the addition of Hellickson does] because you have enough pressure to go out there every five days," Jimenez said. "You just think about doing your job."

Lately, Jimenez has been much better at that. Monday's outing was his longest since June 29 against the Blue Jays as Jimenez held the Royals to five hits with two walks and struck out six.

Jimenez was able to work out of some early jams after allowing a run in the first.

"That first inning, you think about how hot this team has been coming into the game, makes it doubly impressive," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Jimenez consistently was able to blow his fastball past the Royals, who seemed flummoxed by the amount of movement the righty was getting over his 100-pitch outing.

"He was tough," said Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain. "His two-seamer is really good. He changed pitches really well. Slider, changeup, splitter -- he's got, like, eight pitches it seems."

Jimenez, who turned in his third start this season of allowing one or no runs, found his stride last year in August and became one of the O's most consistent pitchers. Perhaps he can find a way to do it again in 2017.

"It feels good," Jimenez said of stringing together two consecutive good outings. "That's what I always think. It doesn't matter how you start, you have to finish strong. That's what the team needed the most. It feels good to be able to go out there and compete and keep the team close."

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