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Orioles notes: High marks for Jiménez after relief outing; Showalter laments pitching moves

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Instead of feeling disappointed that he wasn’t able to make his start after having to pitch in relief Wednesday, right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez was glad to have helped the Orioles with his three scoreless innings when they were badly needed after Kevin Gausman’s ejection.

“I look at the results in a positive way, that I was able to go out there and be there for the team, especially when they need me,” Jiménez said. “Because it’s an emergency game — you don’t want to throw all the guys in the bullpen in that kind of game, then you have to change everything the next day. I feel happy I was able to do that for the team.”

As for what’s next, Jiménez hopes it’s back to the rotation.

“I guess that’s what I’m doing,” Jiménez said. “I was out there yesterday because they needed me.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’ll “hopefully” get to slot Jiménez back into the rotation, but with Chris Tillman due back and Gausman needing to get back into a routine, he said it’s too early to tell.

“We’ll see how everything sorts out,” Showalter said. “We’ve got a lot of moving parts here.”

Jiménez, who hasn’t pitched out of the fifth inning in four of his five starts, has found himself on familiar untenable ground in terms of his performance. Wednesday’s outing brought his ERA down to 6.58, and Showalter said Jiménez not only pitched as well as he has all year, but took great joy in helping the team.

“One of those things I got last night was how I think he got a lot of satisfaction out of really serving a need for our club,” Showalter said. “That was big last night, and people go, 'Big deal, he pitched three innings of relief.' But that’s a big deal. I know his teammates and bullpen and everybody really appreciated it. There was no question. He put his spikes on, went down to the bullpen. … Actually, [he had] some of his better pitch sequences and stuff that he’s showed this year, other than Cincinnati.”

Hard luck demotions for Bleier, Asher: Showalter said it was “real frustrating” to have to send out left-hander Richard Bleier and right-hander Alec Asher to add Thursday’s starter Tyler Wilson and Gabriel Ynoa to the roster.

Asher has two quality starts in two tries after allowing three runs in six innings Tuesday, and Bleier allowed three runs (one earned) in four innings of relief Wednesday. But the team needed spots for the pitchers that would ensure they could get through Thursday’s game.

“Every club has to deal with it, it seems like, at some time or another,” Showalter said. “I hate having that conversation with two guys, because neither one of them deserved to go down.”

Both prove to be casualties of the decision by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook to eject Gausman for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a breaking ball in the second inning Wednesday.

“Sometimes, you deal with things that are self-inflicted and you just kind of wear it,” Showalter said. “Sometimes, you deal with things that are byproducts of other things. You just have to deal with them.”

Ynoa joins Orioles for first time: Ynoa is the latest pitcher to earn a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk, and is coming off his best start of the season on April 29.

He lowered his ERA to 6.65 when he allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

“I would say consistency [has improved], being able to make the adjustment quicker and feeling more confident as the season goes on,” Ynoa said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon.

Ynoa was a candidate to be the team’s fifth starter out of spring training, but the right-hander said there was no disappointment when he was passed over, or when others were called up before him.

“I didn’t feel bad,” Ynoa said. “I received really good feedback [after spring training] from the manager and from the pitching coach as well, so I was just trying to focus on Triple-A, trying to do my job and just concentrate on the things that were working for me in spring training.”

Around the horn: Center fielder Adam Jones reached 10 years of major league service time Thursday, and because he has now spent 10 years in the majors and five with the Orioles, he can veto any trades. ... The Orioles face old friend Miguel Gonzalez on Friday when the Chicago White Sox visit Camden Yards. … Showalter said outfielder Michael Bourn (finger) played nine innings at extended spring training Thursday and will join Norfolk soon. … Right-hander Hunter Harvey (elbow) is throwing a 25-pitch bullpen Friday, Showalter said, and is on track for returning to games in June. … Outfielder Cedric Mullins will be playing soon for Double-A Bowie after suffering a hamstring injury, Showalter said. … Bowie catcher Audry Perez will miss four to six weeks with a grade 2 MCL strain, Showalter said, though he expects it won’t require surgery. … Left-hander Jed Bradley, who was in major league spring training and had been pitching for Bowie, retired, Showalter said.

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