Showalter speaks after 6-2 loss

Ubaldo Jimenez struck out six batters in six innings tonight in his Orioles debut, but he also gave up four runs and took the loss.

Jimenez is 1-1 with a 10.47 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox.

"He was good. Made a couple mistakes," said manager Buck Showalter. "Wasn't going to be much of a margin for error with (John) Lackey. From the get-go, he was going to be sharp tonight. He pitches like that all year, he'll win his share of games."

Jimenez was done in by poorly located fastballs after getting ahead 0-2 in the count.

"Probably," Showalter said. "I haven't really looked at them. More than likely. But I'll remember all the good things he did tonight. It gets multiplied a little bit when runs are at a premium for us. But more times than not, we'll be a little more engaged in that game.

"I thought we were at 4-2, but the other two they tacked on (in the seventh) made for a while different environment those last few innings."

Lackey's only real mistake tonight resulted in a two-run homer for Nelson Cruz in the fourth that temporarily tied the game. The Orioles didn't put a runner in scoring position against him in six innings.

"He throws a lot of different looks at you," Showalter said. "He'll slow you down. They think they're getting there. He throws a lot of cutters. Ball that appears to be a fastball and cuts. That's why you see some weak fly balls and some jam shots. Got some late movement at the end so it looks like a fastball for a long time.

"That's why it's become such a big pitch in the major leagues now. Just about everybody is throwing one now."

The Orioles are 1-1 and they've tallied only four runs in those two games. Cruz's two-run homer off Jon Lester accounted for all the scoring on opening day.

Too soon to worry about the offense? Of course.

"Yeah," Showalter said. "Two good pitchers, two of the better pitchers in the American League last year. But our guys don't look at that as an excuse not to do well. Nobody likes to face them, but they look forward to the challenge. You wouldn't be at this level if you didn't like those challenges.

"Like I've said many times, when a pitcher's on top of his game and a hitter's on top of his game, the pitcher wins more times than not. That's why pitching is at such a premium. And I thought our pitcher did a pretty good job, with the exception of a couple hiccups. We pitched pretty well the last two games, but you're going to have to pitch real well to compete with them. That's why they were the last team standing last year. A good club and everything, but they pitch real well."

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