After right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez struggled in the ninth inning Sunday, allowing four of the five batters he faced to reach base, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the outing was “as much our fault as his.”
Jimenez hadn’t pitched since last Saturday, when he entered the game after a rain delay of more than three hours at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Because he was the pitcher coming in after the delay, he was able to prepare as if it were a start.
“In Chicago, we liked it because he was able to approach the inning like a start,” Showalter said. “He was able to throw in the outfield, do his running. He knew an hour before that he was going to start that inning. [Sunday], it was 34 pitches in the bullpen and let’s go. I tried to give him as much heads up as I could. Hopefully it will be a little better next time out.”
Jimenez walked three batters and allowed a double Sunday against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. He walked in a run before he was removed from the game.
“It’s frustrating for us because we know the level he’s capable of,” Showalter said. “He made a couple good pitches borderline that could have turned the inning around, and it kind of got away from him.”
“We didn’t want the game to get away from us there. As far as what the future holds, we’ll see with some of these doubleheaders and other things, I’d like to get him out there. He’s handled it as well as one can.”
This is the first time Jimenez is pitching in relief since he made his major league debut in September 2006. He also was a starter on his way through the minor leagues.
Around the horn
The Orioles will hold a taxi-squad-type camp at their complex in Sarasota, Fla., starting Saturday for players who could be called up this month if there’s a need. The players included are: outfielders Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia; infielders Buck Britton and Christian Walker; and pitchers Oliver Drake, Eddie Gamboa, Preston Guilmet, Brock Huntzinger, Chris Jones, Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson. Showalter said Alexi Casilla also will likely be added to the group in Sarasota. … The Orioles surpassed the two-million mark in attendance for the third consecutive season Monday with an announced 33,156. Their season mark now stands at 2,026,018 with 13 home dates remaining. … Low-A Delmarva catcher Chance Sisco didn’t play in the Shorebirds’ finale, but he won the South Atlantic League batting title with a .340 average.