Orioles pitchers worked 43 consecutive innings without giving up a home run until Toronto’s Juan Francisco deposited an Ubaldo Jimenez fastball into the home bullpen at Camden Yards tonight in the top of the second inning.
The Orioles already are down 2-0 and Jimenez already is hearing the boos from a frustrated crowd.
Jimenez had allowed only two home runs over his last four starts and three in his last nine.
Jimenez walked five batters in 2 1/3 innings in his previous start against the Athletics. He’s already issued three free passes tonight in two innings, with two double plays enabling him to escape more serious damage.
The Orioles lead the majors with 81 double plays turned.
The bullpen remains quiet, except for retrieving Francisco’s ball, but Jimenez is up to 39 pitches in two innings.
Since the start of the 2012 season, the Orioles are 15-7 against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards, and they’re 10-12 in their last 22 games at Rogers Centre.
Nelson Cruz is serving as the designated hitter again tonight, with Steve Pearce in left field. Cruz was in left field last night while Delmon Young served as the DH.
Orioles designated hitters were batting .305 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs this season, ranking second in average, fourth in RBIs and sixth in homers. From 2011 to 2013, they batted .253 with 61 homers and 210 RBIs in 458 games and ranked no higher than seventh in any of those categories.
Cruz struck out tonight leading off the second inning.
Pearce singled in the first and is 7-for-14 in his last five games.
Manny Machado was 1-for-20 before his double with two outs in the second inning.
The Orioles announced that they signed infielder Riley Palmer (31st round), outfielder Jamil Moquete (32nd round) and outfielder Tad Gold (35th round) from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. They’ve signed eight of their 38 picks.
Update: Jimenez retired nine in a row before walking Anthony Gose with two outs in the fifth. Caleb Joseph, hit on the right hand by a Drew Hutchison pitch earlier tonight, threw out Gose trying to steal.
Jimenez has allowed two runs and two hits in five innings, with four walks, two strikeouts and a home run. He threw only six pitches in the third.
The Orioles continue to trail 2-0 in the top of the sixth.
Update II: Jimenez gave the Orioles a quality start, allowing two runs in six innings. Both runs came on Juan Francisco’s homer in the second.
Jimenez allowed three hits, tied his season high with five walks and struck out two. He threw 101 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Tonight’s attendance: 44,031. The fourth sellout of the season.
A storm is approaching. The wind has picked up and we’ve seen flashes of lightning.
Update III: Game over. The Orioles lose to the Blue Jays 4-0 after a 21-minute rain delay.
The Blue Jays scored twice off Tommy Hunter in the eighth. One run was unearned after Jonathan Schoop’s error.
The Orioles have been shut out six times this season. They’re 34-32 and 4 1/2 games back in the American League East.
Manny Machado equaled his season high with three hits, which he finds appealing (OK, I’m tired).