Ubaldo plays stopper with 10-K effort

Ubaldo plays stopper with 10-K effort

NEW YORK -- Ubaldo Jimenez, the oft-maligned Orioles starter, came through to help Baltimore break its hex in the Bronx.

Jimenez, the only O's arm to go a full five innings in the series, struck out 10 and picked up his first win since Aug. 6 in Sunday's 6-4 victory at Yankee Stadium. It marked just the second win in 11 games for the Orioles, who have dropped out of the top of the American League Wild Card race with a 2-8 road trip.

"I felt good. It felt really good to be able to be able to contribute and be there for the team," Jimenez said after picking up an O's rotation that pitched to a 16.43 ERA the first three games. "I haven't been able to do that too many times, but it feels really good [to] give them a chance."

Jimenez held the red-hot Yankees to just one run -- Didi Gregorius' solo homer in the bottom of the second inning that marked the shortstop's third consecutive game with a home run. Otherwise, the righty, who has been struggled with consistency this season, cruised through his outing. Jimenez allowed three hits and a walk and turned in his 19th career game with 10 or more strikeouts.

"He was good. Ubaldo was down in the zone," manager Buck Showalter said. "Had command, had good tempo to him. Had a big strikeout [to] his last hitter [Brett Gardner], because that was probably going to be his last hitter."

A free agent at the end of the season, Jimenez -- who has been demoted to the bullpen several times -- has posted back-to-back solid five-inning outings for a pitching staff that has ranked among baseball's worst for most of the season. He had been 2-7 with a 7.20 ERA over his previous 12 starts heading into Sunday's game.

The 100-pitch outing was a reminder that if the O's can pitch better, they're more than capable of being competitive. Whether it will be enough to put them back in the playoff picture remains to be seen.

"It's history. We've got a winning streak going," Showalter said of his club's September slide. "If we pitch like we pitched today, we've got a chance to run some wins off, and I wouldn't sell us short. That's the way we're looking at it. If we can stay in the games with starting pitching, we've got a chance to make a run at it."

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.