Hearing from Showalter, Jimenez and Cruz after Game 2 win

BOSTON - The Orioles sent reliever Preston Guilmet back to Triple-A Norfolk following tonight’s 7-4 win over the Red Sox in Game 2.

Manager Buck Showalter said Bud Norris, who threw a simulated game this afternoon, will start Tuesday or Wednesday against the Nationals.

The Orioles got eight innings from their Game 1 starter and lost, and 3 2/3 innings from their Game 2 starter and won.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but they’ll take a split and prepare for Sunday afternoon’s series finale with the Red Sox.

The bullpen allowed only one hit in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, with Brad Brach picking up the win and Zach Britton earning his 13th save.

“Brach’s been solid for us,” Showalter said after a 7-4 victory in the nightcap. “I thought Tommy (Hunter) was real sharp again. We need Tommy to pitch like he did last year, the second half of the season. And it really allows us to spread the load around and get another guy with Brad.

“We have to send somebody out tomorrow for (Kevin) Gausman, so it was big that we didn’t have to stretch anybody out. I’ll take a look at Britton and Darren (O’Day) tomorrow before we make a decision with a quick turnaround.”

Showalter said he was able to get this type of production from the bullpen “because of the rest we had and the way that we’ve been able to pass the load around.”

“When you’ve got that many guys that follow a trend, if you can put them in that situation, you’re able to do that,” he said. “The depth there. I don’t think we have anybody among the league leaders in appearances. That’s because we’ve been able to pass it around and keep everybody healthy. And the one ups and not the multiple dry humps.”

Nelson Cruz had a career-high five hits and missed the cycle when he was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple in his final at-bat. The dugout loved it.

“If you can’t enjoy that and take it the way you need, you’re taking yourself way too seriously,” Showalter said. “I’m glad they didn’t hit the first cutoff guy. At least it was close. They’re all screaming at me to do the replay.

“Nellie’s always screaming, ‘Go, go, go,’ every time there’s a ball in the dirt with somebody on base, just kiddingly. We tell them all the time, ‘You feel something, go for it.’ He had a great night. Gosh, he had a great night. I thought he played left field pretty well except for that one kind of came back on him.”

Red Sox starter John Lackey threw 120 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with five runs and 10 hits, walked one and struck out 11.

“I looked up there and at one time Ubaldo (Jimenez) had less pitches than he did,” Showalter said. “It didn’t seem like it. Of course, when you strike that many people out, you’re going to have that. I’d like to say that we grinded a lot of at-bats, but there were a lot of pitches that we swung and missed.”

Jimenez walked six in 3 2/3 innings.

“Not very good,” Showalter said. “He was fortunate to give up the few runs that he did. I think that’s because he was wildly effective. It’s just inconsistent. It’s tough to hit him because you go up there trying to be selective and he throws three pitches on the black. And then he gets out of sync again. It’s frustrating because the stuff is there. We were fortunate that we stayed engaged in the game with that many walks.”

Jimenez had walked only three batters in his last two starts before his command again became an issue.

“They hurt me a lot, because every time I got on the mound I had runners on base,” Jimenez said. “Basically, I beat myself by walking guys. You never put yourself in a good position when you start walking guys.

“I think it was my mechanics. I didn’t get comfortable with my mechanics. I didn’t find a good release point. Basically, it was my mechanics.”

Cruz admitted that he wanted the triple and the cycle.

“As soon as I saw it went over his head, I was like, ‘I’ve got to take a shot, see what happens,’” he said. “I think my angle from first it was bad, so I had to go a long way to second. I’m happy we won.”

Cruz hadn’t hit a triple since 2011.

“Just try, you know?” he said. “Just try and see what happens. I don’t remember the last time I hit a triple. I know I tried one last year and got thrown out at third. That’s why I don’t try.”

Not everyone was impressed with Cruz’s five-hit night. Lackey declined to comment except to reference Cruz’s 50-game suspension last year.

“”I’ve got nothing to say about him,” Lackey said. “There are some things that I would like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”

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