Ubaldo Jimenez goes three scoreless against the Twins (O’s lose 3-0)


Score: Twins 3, Orioles 0

Recap: Nice recovery for Ubaldo Jimenez, who followed a poor debut with three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three. Hunter Harvey allowed a run in 1 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one. Andrew Triggs had a walk and strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Mychal Givens allowed a run on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Cesar Cabral retired all four batters he faced, but Juan Centeno had an RBI double off Chris Jones in the eighth. Adam Jones, batting second, poked a single into right field in the first inning. Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo reached on infield hits.

Need to know: The Orioles are 0-7-1. Jimenez threw 46 pitches, 30 for strikes. Hyun Soo Kim grounded out twice and is 0-for-18 so far this spring. He ran the count full in the fifth inning. Alfredo Marte replaced Kim and singled leading off the eighth. On Centeno’s RBI double, Darin Mastroianni was out at the plate - Joey Rickard to Schoop to Audry Perez. Today’s attendance: 6,121.

On deck: Tuesday, vs. Red Sox in Sarasota, 1:05 p.m. on MASN

SARASOTA, Fla. - Coming off a start that ended with only one batter retired, Ubaldo Jimenez showed his good side today.

Jimenez tossed three scoreless innings for the Orioles against the Twins, allowing one hit, walking a batter and striking out three. He threw 46 pitches, 30 for strikes.

Jimenez needed only 10 pitches, eight strikes, to get through the third. Hunter Harvey took over in the fourth.

Ubaldo Jimenez Orange day.jpgIn his spring debut, Jimenez retired only one of seven batters and was charged with six runs. Afterward, he noted that he was around the strike zone despite three walks, his arm felt good and he’d be fine moving forward.

It was no joke.

Byron Buxton doubled to left field on Jimenez’s second pitch of the afternoon, but he was stranded. Miguel Sano struck out on three pitches for the second out and Kennys Vargas was retired on a 1-5-3 putout, with the ball deflecting off Jimenez’s glove.

Alert play by third baseman Manny Machado to retrieve the ball to his left and fire a strike to first baseman Mark Trumbo.

Adam Jones singled into right field with one out in the bottom of the first, but he also was stranded.

Oswaldo Arcia drew a one-out walk in the second, but Jimenez retired the next two batters, striking out Ryan Sweeney for the final out. He threw 23 pitches, 13 for strikes.

J.J. Hardy flied to the warning track in left field in the bottom of the second, the wind robbing him of a home run off Twins starter Phil Hughes. Hyun Soo Kim grounded out, making him 0-for-17 this spring.

Jimenez recorded a strikeout, popup and fly ball in the third and his day was done.

Harvey walked a batter, struck out Vargas and got a double-play bouncer from Trevor Plouffe in the fourth inning.

Update: Harvey allowed a run in the fifth on a leadoff walk to Arcia, a stolen base, a wild pitch and John Hicks’ single into left field. Harvey had a walk and strikeout in a scoreless fourth.

Andrew Triggs replaced Harvey and had a walk and strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.

Mychal Givens surrendered a run in the sixth to leave the Orioles behind 2-0. He gave up two hits, including Plouffe’s RBI double, walked two and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.

Kim ran the count full in the fifth and grounded sharply to second base. He’s 0-for-18 this spring.

Jimenez explained why this start was different from the last.

“I had a better command of the fastball and the breaking ball,” he said. “We kept doing what we were doing last time, which was throwing the curve and the changeup and it was good. I was able to command it.”

Jimenez also rebounded from a poor first start last spring.

“Yeah, it felt like every time to the mound I was able to command the fastball and get ahead and stay ahead,” he said. “I think that’s what I did today.”

Results may not be of upmost importance in spring training, but Jimenez will take today’s line.

“It feels way better than when you start giving up so many runs, but like you say, the first thing I’m looking for is the things that I’m working on, but when you are able to get out of a situation like that, you feel good,” Jimenez said. “You know that even though you’re working on things, you have a better result when you have a good command of the fastball.

“Every time you go out there you are working on something, but at the same time you want to see a result because that’s going to make you more comfortable, more confident when the season comes. You know you are going to be able to go out there and compete and be there for your team.”

His best inning was the third, when he threw eight of 10 pitches for strikes while retiring the Twins in order.

“I was able to get ahead and I stayed ahead,” he said. “I threw three or four curves and they were good. All of them were for a strike.”

Jimenez did a nice job repping the rotation today. The group needed a boost.

“That’s something we are looking for,” he said. “It’s not only about one guy. You could have one guy win 20 games and have a good season, but if the other ones don’t do what they’re supposed to, you’re in trouble. So that’s the challenge we have, and that’s what we are looking forward to do. To be there as a team.”

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