Ubaldo Jimenez lasted just 12/3 innings in the Orioles' loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, allowing eight of the 14 batters he faced to reach base. The outing was his shortest start since April 16, 2013, when he lasted just 12/3 innings for the Indians against the Boston Red Sox.
Since then, neither Orioles starter has lasted more than five innings, placing an added load on the relievers. That's not necessarily a recipe for winnings, but despite being one man short, the Orioles bullpen has allowed just one hit over 8 2/3 innings the past two nights in a pair of wins over the Boston Red Sox.
Spurred by five solid innings from left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and at least five highlight defensive gems ¿ including three by center fielder Adam Jones ¿ the Oriole drew within 4 ½ games of the New York Yankees (33-26) and captured the series against the last-place Red Sox (27-33).
As the Orioles open their three-game series tonight against the Red Sox, all eyes will be on former O¿s pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, who will make his third career big-league start tonight against his old team.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he spoke to Major League Baseball¿s chief baseball officer Joe Torre in the aftermath of Friday¿s strange game in which right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected, but wouldn¿t divulge any details of his conversation.
The Orioles and Red Sox have had their share of tense moments at Fenway Park over the years, but what happened in the fourth inning of Boston's 3-2, walk-off win Friday night didn't seem to be one of them.
Left-hander Brian Matusz, who has been the subject of trade rumors this spring, delivered another solid performance in a starting role Friday, and the Orioles exploded for six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Boston Red Sox, 11-5.
With their 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the Orioles have taken a 10-game divisional lead for the first time since Sept. 22, 1979, a season in which the Orioles lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a seven-game World Series.
The Orioles' plan all along was to let Kevin Gausman loose in the second half. It took some rigid discipline — limiting his innings and pitch counts earlier this year — and some unpopular roster moves in order to preserve him for the stretch run.
Winning two of three games this weekend at Fenway Park wasn't easy, but the Orioles had reason to celebrate after surviving their series finale Sunday afternoon with a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox in 12 innings.
The Orioles didn't show any sign of fatigue early, jumping on Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz for six runs in the third inning. And they withstood a late rally by Boston for a 7-6 victory in front of an announced sellout crowd of 37,513 at Fenway Park.
Jimenez allowed a pair of homers, including a game-winning two-run shot to first baseman Mike Napoli in the fifth inning that sent the Orioles to a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox in front of an announced 25,708 at Camden Yards.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado began running through first base and landing on the bag last week. Base running is one of the final drills Machado has to perform before he can be fully cleared and return to games.