PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez overcame a rocky first inning to allow two runs over five hits over six innings in a 3-3, 10-inning tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.
Jimenez fell behind 2-0 four batters into the game after allowing a towering two-run homer in the first inning to James Loney. Despite going deep into counts early, Jimenez avoided further damage in the opening frame and retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.
The leadoff batter reached safely in the second and third innings, but Jimenez was helped by well-timed double-play balls to end each threat. He allowed just one hit, and two base runners, in his final three innings of work.
Jimenez, who threw 71 pitches (44 strikes) Saturday, also became the second Orioles starter to go six full innings this spring. Miguel Gonzalez tossed six shutout innings against Atlanta on Friday.
In 10 Grapefruit League innings this spring, Jimenez — who signed a four-year, $50 million deal last month — has allowed nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
In his last outing, Jimenez threw 3 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and recording seven strikeouts and two walks in a Triple-A minor league game Monday.
Even though Rays right-hander Alex Cobb recorded 12 strikeouts in seven innings, the Orioles were able to chip away at Tampa Bay's early lead.
Outfielder Delmon Young, who is battling for one of the final roster spots, hit his first homer this spring with a solo shot to lead off the second inning. Young had two hits on the afternoon.
The Orioles tied the game in the fourth when outfielder Henry Urrutia doubled over the head of center fielder David DeJesus to lead off the inning. He moved to third on Young’s single and scored on a double-play ball.
Infielder Alexi Casilla was credited with a double to open the fifth when left fielder Brandon Guyer lost a fly ball in the lights, and scored two batters later on Michael Almanzar’s RBI single.
The Rays tied the game in the bottom of the ninth off right-hander Evan Meek on Alejandro Segovia’s RBI single.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun