As expected, the Orioles have optioned left-hander T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk and will announce a corresponding roster move on Saturday. They need an extra position player after first baseman Chris Davis strained his left oblique muscle tonight.
McFarland allowed one run and five hits in three innings tonight. He threw 45 pitches and was the logical candidate to be sent down.
McFarland posted a 2.25 ERA in two appearances since being recalled on Tuesday.
Left-hander Johan Santana will throw in a simulated game Monday in Sarasota, working three innings or tossing 45 pitches. Whichever comes first.
Santana will start his first extended spring training game on May 3, working one inning or throwing 15-20 pitches.
As for tonight’s game, the Orioles were blanked through eight innings by Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura, making his seventh major league start.
“That kid’s special, to say the least,” said center fielder Adam Jones. “He’s got a 95-100 (fastball). His changeup I think is the pitch that keeps people off his fastball. His curveball was filthy. I don’t like to tip my cap, but the guy’s got some good stuff and he went out there and showed it tonight. You can’t do anything about it but just go and get (Jeremy) Guthrie tomorrow.”
Ubaldo Jimenez is 0-4 in five starts with the Orioles. He was charged with four runs in six-plus innings.
“What gets magnified is the fact that their guy pitched real, real well,” manager Buck Showalter said. “If he comes out and we win that game 4-3 or whatever ... Mac was about it for length tonight. I really needed him to finish that game. Didn’t want to bring anybody else in. We could have probably made it a little tighter with other match-ups. It’s hard for me to fault ... (Jimenez) just ran into a night where the other pitcher was a little better.”
Jimenez felt like he made progress tonight.
“Yeah, especially the way I started the game,” he said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone at all. I was able to step off the mound and regroup, and kept throwing strikes. I tried to give the team a chance.
“I’m trying to do everything possible to be there for the team. I know things have to change. And I’m really happy that April, this is my last start in April. Hopefully, get it going in May. It seems like every time I go out there, I find a way to lose the game.”