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For Ubaldo Jimenez, Camden Yards still offers no home-field advantage

Ubaldo Jimenez still is searching for his first home win as an Oriole.

The club’s 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday dropped the right-hander to 2-8 this year, including 0-6 in seven games at Camden Yards.

“One of these days, it’s going to come,” Jimenez said. “It’s not going to last forever that I don’t have a win here.”

Friday’s start wasn’t nearly as disastrous as some of Jimenez’s other home appearances, which include three outings of five earned runs or more. The righty walked five in six innings on 101 pitches Friday, but he allowed just three hits and limited the damage to two runs.

Both scored on third baseman Juan Francisco’s home run in the second, which came two pitches after Jimenez walked Brett Lawrie. Francisco unloaded on a fastball over the middle to give the Blue Jays the lead for good.

“Probably a bad pitch call on my part,” said catcher Caleb Joseph. “I’ll lose a little sleep tonight over that.”

The outing lowered Jimenez’s ERA at home to 6.38, but still nearly three points higher than it is elsewhere (3.43). It also marked just the second time this year he has surrendered two runs or fewer at Camden Yards.

“The walks are still an issue, but I thought his stuff was better,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. Jimenez was “down in the zone a little more against a good hitting team.”

Jimenez got plenty of help from his defense, which turned a pair of inning-ending double plays, and from Joseph, who caught a runner attempting to steal in the fifth inning. But with runners on first and third in the sixth, the righty did the job himself, forcing Edwin Encarnacion into a flyout to center field. 

“I thought he showed a little something there with the last out, because it was a tough decision whether to leave him in,” Showalter said.

Despite the quality start, Jimenez, and the Orioles, would end the night with another loss.

alzuniga@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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