Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez battled control issues early, but he allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings.
“I felt fine,” Jimenez said. “I [was] just in the same situation that I had before. I’m trying to get deeper in the game. I threw too many pitches the first four innings.”
One inning after stranding two Rangers runners on base in the sixth, Brian Matusz (2-1) yielded a game-tying solo homer to catcher Robinson Chirinos to open the seventh inning. But he picked up the win after the Orioles took the lead in the top of the eighth.
Jimenez walked four batters in the game, but he dodged trouble throughout the night, giving up four hits and striking out five. The Rangers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Jimenez. In his first five innings, Jimenez stranded four base runners, including three in scoring position.
“I felt really good doing that,” Jimenez said. “Especially that I was able to minimize the damage, and we got the win. That’s what really matters. You have to do everything possible to get as deep as we can and help the team.”
He left the game with two on and two outs in the sixth before Matusz needed just one pitch to induce a groundout by Leonys Martin.
Over the past five games, the Orioles starting rotation has allowed just six runs over 30 1/3 innings, pitching to a 1.78 ERA over that span. Jimenez has allowed just two runs over 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
Jones took a 2-2 pitch the opposite way off the right-field foul pole for a solo homer to open the fourth inning and score the first run of the game. Jones' homer, which came on a 92-mph fastball on the outer half of the plate from Saunders, was his first in 15 days.
Three of Jones’ four hits came off Saunders, improving his average against left-handers this season to .434 (26-for-56).
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre answered in the bottom half of the fourth inning, lining a 1-0 pitch over the left-field scoreboard for his sixth homer of the season.