The umpires saved Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez from the indignity of a grand slam this afternoon.
They couldn’t do it twice.
Jimenez turned in his shortest start of the season, allowing six runs and only two hits over 2 1/3 innings. He issued five walks, including three straight to the last three Oakland batters in the lineup to load the bases with no outs in the third.
John Jaso followed with what appeared to be a grand slam to center field, the ball bouncing back onto the field. First base umpire Gabe Morales signaled that it was in play, but second base umpire Larry Vanover signaled home run.
Adam Jones and Nick Marakis ran to the infield to argue the call, the umpires reviewed it - this wasn’t a formal challenge by the Orioles - and the call was overturned.
Jaso was given a two-run double that broke a scoreless tie.
Jimenez walked Nick Punto as fans grew more restless, Josh Donaldson grounded into a 5-2 force at the plate and Brandon Moss followed with his 16th homer and second career slam, the other coming on May 30 against the Angels.
Manager Buck Showalter was out of the dugout before Moss reached the plate. He wanted Brad Brach immediately.
Jimenez was booed as he walked off the field, his ERA rising to 5.01 in 70 innings.
Chris Tillman couldn’t get an out in the second inning Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas. Now, Jimenez makes a hasty exit.
Brach covered 3 1/3 innings after replacing Tillman. He’s got another mess to clean up today.
Jimenez allowed one run in each of his last two starts. He couldn’t find the plate today - except when Jaso and Moss stood beside it.
Jimenez has completed six innings in only one of his last five starts.
The five walks tie his season high. The six runs are the most he’s surrendered as an Oriole.