Ubaldo Jimenez records first quality start since May 7, O’s top Padres

When he gave up two singles and a run to the first three batters in the first inning, it looked as it Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez might be on his way to yet another poor outing.

But tonight he wrote a different script.

Jimenez allowed just two runs and four hits over six innings as the Orioles beat San Diego 7-2 at Camden Yards to split a two-game series.

The victory was the Orioles’ 1,000th in Camden Yards history, counting the postseason. They are now 1,000-959 at Oriole Park since 1992.

jimenez-pitching-white-sidebar (1).pngJimenez had allowed 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings in his last two outings and was 1-4 with an ERA of 11.47 his past seven games. Fans were not expecting him to record his first quality start since May 7, but he did, providing a lift for himself and his team.

Now 4-7 with an ERA of 6.97, Jimenez walked four and fanned seven, throwing 104 pitches. San Diego went 2-for-10 against him with runners in scoring position. He ended his outing by striking out the last four batters he faced and he left the mound after the top of the sixth to a partial standing ovation.

O’s starting pitchers had worked five innings or less in four of five and in seven of the last 10 games.

The O’s backed Jimenez by scoring runs in five straight innings starting in the second. Mark Trumbo’s solo homer in the second tied it 1-1 and his 21st tied him for the major league lead. He had gone 13 games without a homer since June 7.

Jonathan Schoop, starting in the third spot in the order for the first time in his career, went 2-for-3 with a walk. His double in the third made it a 2-1 O’s lead that became 3-1 when Matt Wieters singled home a run in the fourth.

An O’s three-run fifth featured a Ryan Flaherty solo homer (his third), an RBI for Chris Davis when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Wieters’ sac fly. Flaherty reached on an error and scored the seventh run in the O’s sixth on Hyun Soo Kim’s single to left.

The Orioles improved to 41-30 overall and to 27-13 in home games. They still have lost just one home series all year and that was to Seattle.

After Thursday’s off-day, the Orioles host Tampa Bay for four games over three days starting Friday night when Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 6.26 ERA) faces left-hander Matt Moore (3-4, 4.90 ERA).

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