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Ubaldo Jimenez 'excited' about making Orioles debut on Friday

Despite Thursday’s canceled exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Ubaldo Jimenez is still slated to make his Orioles debut Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium.

Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Orioles this month, is in his ninth big league season. So Friday’s game, in one sense, is just another tune-up in a lengthy career. But he admits he’s “very excited about it.”

“It’s a new team and I’m with new teammates,” he said. “So I am definitely looking forward to getting on the mound.”

The 30-year-old right-hander isn’t going to go all out Friday; he is scheduled to pitch just two innings.

“It is a spring training game. I have to hold back a little bit instead of doing too much,” he said. “Yeah, it’ll be hard, but I think I’m going to be able to handle it. I’m just going to relax and try to do my job. It’s my first outing in spring training, so I need to focus and work on the things I need to do.”

Miguel Gonzalez, who was supposed to start Thursday's game, will pitch at some point Friday against the Phillies.

There will be no makeup date for Thursday’s canceled game. Those with tickets can exchange them for any remaining 2014 spring game at Ed Smith Stadium, subject to availability. For a refund, ticketholders must send the original tickets — postmarked within 30 days — to March 6 Spring Training Rainout, Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota, Fla., 34237. The refunds will be sent out within six to eight weeks from when they are processed.

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