Ubaldo Jiménez would like to get back two pitches thrown tonight in the second inning. Both of them 92 mph fastballs. Both ending up in bad locations.
Both causing a lot of pain.
One fastball was planted in the back of leadoff hitter Logan Morrison with the count 0-2. The other was launched to left field by Wilson Ramos for a grand slam.
If Jiménez was making his final Camden Yards start with the Orioles, as presumed, he went out in a blaze of gory.
Jiménez allowed six runs over three innings and the Orioles lost for the 13th time in 16 games, 8-3, before an announced crowd of 28,835.
With a 74-81 record, the Orioles must win their last seven games to avoid their first losing season since 2011. They have two more against the Rays at home, two in Pittsburgh and three at Tropicana Field.
Chris Davis led off the fourth inning with his 224th home run as an Oriole to pass Rafael Palmeiro for sixth place on the all-time list. He also walked and singled for his first multi-hit game since Aug. 31.
Miguel Castro allowed a run in the fifth and has been scored upon in each of his last six appearances.
Jiménez allowed eight hits along with the six runs and raised his ERA to 6.81 in 142 2/3 innings. It was his third-shortest start of the season after lasting 2 1/3 against the Rays on June 21 and 2 2/3 against the Mariners on Aug. 30.
The Rays were retired in order in the first inning on only nine pitches, but both balls to Adam Jones were scorched and Evan Longoria hit a sharp grounder to Manny Machado. Nine of the next 14 batters reached and Jiménez threw a combined 53 pitches in the second and third.
Fans booed. Castro warmed twice.
Jiménez opened the second by drilling Morrison and allowing soft singles to Steven Souza Jr. and Corey Dickerson to load the bases with no outs.
The next pitch disappeared over the fence for the Rays’ third grand slam this season and a 4-0 lead. Jimenez threw 23 of them.
The Orioles also loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second and Rays starter Alex Cobb also needed 23 pitches to end it. However, the Orioles scored only twice on an Austin Hays fly ball to the track in left-center field and a wild pitch.
Longoria led off the third with a home run - cue more booing - and three more singles increased the lead to 6-2. Ramos was caught in a rundown on Adeiny Hechavarria’s single to get Jiménez back into the dugout.
He didn’t come back out. If he’s on the mound again at Camden Yards, he figures to be wearing a different uniform.
Souza made a diving catch in the sixth to rob Caleb Joseph and strand two runners. Davis got caught in a rundown between third base and home for the second out.
Manny Machado was thrown out at the plate in the third while trying to score on Jones’ single. Another one of those nights - for Jiménez and the Orioles.
Notes: Donnie Hart faced two batters in the ninth and allowed a run on Lucas Duda’s RBI double.
Jones had two hits to pass Brady Anderson for fourth place on the club’s all-time list with 1,615.
Mychal Givens set a career high with 75 innings this season, including two scoreless tonight. His 66 appearances equal last year’s total.
Manager Buck Showalter on Jiménez: “He had two pitches that were four runs. The 0-2 hit by pitch and the home run. A couple ground balls that trickled through and the next thing you know we’re down 4-0. You can’t take those two pitches back. Then we get back in it and go out and give two right back to them. So, that kind of took a lot of the game momentum that we were trying to garner.
“We had some opportunities against Cobb to get back in it, but couldn’t get that one hit we needed.”
Showalter wasn’t ready to reflect on Jiménez’s time in Baltimore: “That’s for another day. It’s not up. We always look for the positives in everything, especially my job, and if you look you’ll always find them. Tonight wasn’t one of them, even though you can say, ground ball, ground ball, but we hit a guy 0-2 and make a pitch that Ramos jumped on and we gave two right back.
“He’s not the only one, but I know that’s a point of emphasis tonight.”
Showalter on whether team is frustrated by inability to have big innings: “I hope so. Certainly. I think that’s a pretty obvious answer. There’s no que sera sera. Believe me, they’re grinding and it’s frustrating. You can talk about we’re doing a lot of things to set up some innings. We’re just not getting that last hit to get it over the top, and tonight you’re going to have to score nine runs to win.
“That’s always the emphasis for me is trying to figure out a way to keep them from going 360 feet and tonight we didn’t do a very good job of that. We did some good things offensively, but Cobb’s another top 10 guy in ERA in the American League. We caught him I thought on a night we had a chance to do some things, but we couldn’t get over the hump.”
Jiménez on whether start came down to two pitches: “Yeah. Starting that inning, of course I didn’t want to hit the first baseman, especially after having two strikes. The next two batters, I got a couple ground balls, but they were able to find holes. And then the biggest one was the homer.”
Jiménez on whether he thought about this start maybe being his last with Orioles: “No, I don’t even think about that. Whatever is happening, I just thank God every time for giving me the courage to be here so long and whatever happens, I’m just going to go with it. Of course, I didn’t want it to happen again like it (did), but it’s part of the game. I’m never going to dwell on that. It happened, I move on.”
Jiménez on Orioles career: “It’s had its ups and downs, of course. But being here in this clubhouse with such a great group of guys is something that I’m always going to take with me. Nothing is going to erase that.”
Jiménez on why he can’t be consistent: “Hopefully, when I get that answer, I’ll let you know. I’ve been feeling good, especially this year. I just haven’t had the results to show for it. I’m someone that always believes whatever God has for me, I’m always going to be with fine with it. I’m going to go out there and do my best and whatever happens at the end of the day, I’m going to have to live with it.”
Jiménez on whether he plans on pitching next year: “Yes, of course. There’s no doubt. I feel good, my arm feels good. I’ve never had any trouble with my arm and been in the big leagues for 10 years.”