Can a struggling pitcher turn it around and pitch the Orioles to a win tonight? Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (3-7, 7.34 ERA) makes his 14th start and tries to pitch the Orioles past San Diego to gain a split of this two-game series.
Jimenez’s last two appearances came against Toronto - one as a starter and one out of the bullpen. He gave up 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings in those games. Over his past seven games, he is 1-4 with an ERA of 11.47. He has allowed five or more runs in five if his past six starts. So, yeah, struggling indeed.
When he went 12-10 with an ERA of 4.11 last year, Jimenez allowed 8.9 hits per nine innings and that mark is 12.9 now. His walks per nine innings have jumped from 3.3 to 5.1 and his WHIP has jumped from 1.359 to 2.000.
Facing him tonight is right-hander Erik Johnson. He was traded from the White Sox to the Padres on June 4 in the James Shields deal. In four starts this year between both teams, he is 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA. Over 22 1/3 innings, he has allowed 30 hits, including 10 homers. A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Johnson is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.44 in his first two starts for San Diego. He has allowed 16 hits and five homers over 10 2/3 innings.
So neither pitcher brings a strong 2016 resume to the mound tonight. That means it will be a 2-1 final, right?
Over the last three games, the Orioles have 21 runs on 44 hits with a team batting average of .373. The O’s have hit 22 homers the past 12 games and 40 in the last 19 games. They’ve scored 121 runs their past 20 games.
San Diego has also been a hot-hitting team. In going 10-9 this month, the Padres’ team batting average is .290’ which is best in the National League and second in the majors. San Diego is scoring 5.6 runs per game in June.
Getting the jewelry: When the Orioles are off tomorrow, two of their players will be at a game. Pitchers Mychal Givens and Dylan Bundy will head to Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie to be presented with their 2015 Eastern League championship rings. Both players were a part of Bowie’s first championship last season and they get the rings that prove that sometime during Thursday’s game in Bowie.
More draft pick signings: The Orioles today announced the signings of 15 more draft picks. That brings to 21 the number of players signed so far from the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. The latest to sign:
Round 5 - SS Alexis Torres
Round 11 - LHP Zach Muckenhirn
Round 12 - LHP Max Knutson
Round 14 - RHP Ruben Garcia
Round 15 - RHP Nick Jobst
Round 18 - LHP Layne Bruner
Round 19 - CF Cole Billingsley
Round 24 - LHP Zach Matson
Round 26 - 3B Jaime Estrada
Round 28 - Matt De La Rosa
Round 30 - 2B Garrett Copeland
Round 31 - CF Jake Ring
Round 34 - RHP Lucas Brown
Round 35 - 2B Tanner Kirk
Round 37 - RHP James Teague
At Triple-A Norfolk, first baseman Trey Mancini went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in yesterday’s contest. Mancini has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, batting .387 (12-for-31) with a walk, two doubles, a home run, five runs and three RBIs in that span.