Ubaldo Jimenez struggles as Orioles lose Yankees’ home opener


Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop lies in the dirt after he was picked off second base against the New York Yankees. (Kathy Willens/AP)
April 7, 2014

This wasn’t the first impression right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez wanted to give his new team or his new fan base, but the Baltimore Orioles’ top offseason acquisition has struggled through his first two starts in an O’s uniform.

Jimenez was not able to locate his breaking ball Monday afternoon, and the result was a short outing in a 4-2 loss against the New York Yankees in their home opener at Yankee Stadium.

Jimenez lasted 4 2 / 3 innings, issued four runs on eight hits and five walks and was chased from the game after reaching 109 pitches.

“I wanted it to go another way,” said Jimenez, who has lost both of his first two Orioles starts. “I wanted to win for the team. I haven’t been able to do that. I have to keep working and get ready for my next one.”

A patient Yankees lineup took its free passes and jumped on Jimenez’s mistakes.

“He went through some really good sequences and then just got out of whack,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said.

The loss was the Orioles’ fifth in their last six games, and was compounded by the club’s continuing offensive struggles.

New York took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when No. 9 hitter Yangervis Solarte, who reached on a Jimenez walk, scored on a double-play groundout by shortstop Derek Jeter.

After the Orioles tied the game on Matt Wieters’s two-out RBI single in the top of the fourth, the Yankees regained the lead in the bottom half. Jimenez allowed a single to Alfonso Soriano and issued a two-out walk to No. 8 hitter Kelly Johnson before Solarte singled in Soriano.

New York went up 3-1 on Jimenez in the fifth when Jeter’s leadoff double off the left field fence was followed by Jacoby Ellsbury’s bloop single to center field. Even though Wieters threw out Ellsbury attempting to steal second, Jimenez loaded the bases after a pair of singles and a two-out walk to former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.

Left-hander Zach Britton came in for Jimenez and issued a five-pitch walk that plated another Yankees run, but then retired the next six batters he faced.

Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda held the Orioles to two runs over 61 / 3 innings, but left the game with two base runners on in the seventh.

Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, the Orioles were primed for a big inning when Chris Davis’s leadoff double was followed by singles by Wieters and Nelson Cruz.

But after Kuroda induced a flyout from Steve Lombardozzi, the Yankees played matchups with the bottom of the Orioles’ order as left-hander Matt Thornton retired Ryan Flaherty and right-hander David Phelps got Jonathan Schoop to strand the tying run on second.

— Baltimore Sun

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