Carroll County Times

Jimenez struggles again as O's fall to Yankees

NEW YORK - The Baltimore Orioles couldn't put key hits together. They made two horrific baserunning mistakes, and Ubaldo Jimenez couldn't find the strike zone.

Jimenez allowed eight hits and walked five in the Orioles' 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees before 48,142 at Yankee Stadium Monday as Baltimore fell to 2-5.

New York (4-3) didn't hit the ball hard off Jimenez (0-2), but he said every time he tried to throw a breaking ball, it missed the strike zone.

"I couldn't throw my breaking ball for a strike. I had a couple of guys that I got ahead with my fastball. I tried to put them away with a breaking ball, but I couldn't throw it for a strike. It was all about that. I couldn't get a breaking ball strike," Jimenez said.

He was pulled after 4 2-3 innings. Jimenez has walked eight in 10 2-3 in his first two starts.

"Nobody really got on him today. There were some balls that fell in that he made good pitches on," manager Buck Showalter said.

Baltimore scored a run in the fourth on Matt Wieters' RBI singled, and had three hits off Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) to start the seventh, but that was the last hit they got. Four Yankees relievers held them hitless in the last 2 2-3 innings.

"It's early, but no doubt we've kind of struggled to get the runs going," Nelson Cruz said."It seems like late in the games we get it done, so it's just a matter of time that we get focused early and get it done early and don't wait until the last minute to get extra runs."

Cruz drove in the second run in the seventh, but he committed one of the two costly baserunning gaffes. He was easily doubled off first on Steve Lombardozzi's fly ball in the second. Jonathan Schoop was badly fooled and picked off at second to end the fifth.

"Those mistakes cannot happen. There's no excuse for those mistakes. You cannot control if you are going to get a base hit, but this mistake you can control. It's not going to happen, you know? You got to learn from it," Schoop said.

HARDY MISSING AGAIN: J.J. Hardy sat out with back spasms for the third time in four games.

"It feels better than [Sunday]. It's still a little bit tight, but it's definitely getting better. We'll see. I'm basically through my first round of treatments today. I'll probably do the same thing again and go from there," Hardy said.

"Very, very frustrating. It was probably the healthiest spring training I've had yet with everything feeling good and then this came out of nowhere," Hardy said.

Showalter is hoping his star shortstop is back soon.

"We just want it resolved now," Showalter said.

SHOWALTER ADMIRES JETER: Showalter was Derek Jeter's first major league manager in 1995. At his pregame news conference, most of the questions were about Jeter, who was playing in his last opening day at Yankee Stadium.

"The thing I'm most proud of, having known him is the way he carried himself. When you're the focal point of an organization regardless of whether it's the Yankees or somebody else for that long, being someone that the fans and the game of baseball can trust on and off the field," Showalter said.

"He always thought about the weight his words carried and how it affected his teammates and his organization. That happened long before, with his teammates and his organization. So when you're think about something that's is the signature of Derek, it's the substance."

ADDING A PITCHER: Baltimore acquired right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet from Cleveland in exchange for minor league outfielder Torsten Boss.

Guilmet will report to Norfolk. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Nolan Reimold, whose progress in his latest rehab after neck surgery has been slow, was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

OUCH UPDATE: Manny Machado was scheduled to step up his rehab in Sarasota, Fla., Monday.

COMING UP: The Orioles face the Yankees Tuesday afternoon. Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 6.35) pitches against Ivan Nova (1-0, 3.18).