Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Jimenez, done in by walks

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The Baltimore Orioles walked eight hitters this afternoon against Cleveland. Six of those eight walks were issued by starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who seemingly had a tough outing against a tough Cleveland team. Jimenez’s line: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 6 BB, 5 K. However while Jimenez allowed quite a few runners and found himself in trouble often, the fact is that he only allowed the one run.

And as we’ve said many times, all a team can ask is for their starter to put them in a position to win the game. Jimenez did that. However both Cleveland runs came in the wake of walks, including the one allowed by Jimenez. That and Oriole bats not being able to break through once again sent the Orioles to a 2-1 defeat.

However let’s also give some credit to Cleveland starter Danny Salazar. The Orioles have run into some buzzsaw-like pitching this year. While it’s certainly fair to ask if it’s the Orioles that are making guys look good or the pitchers making the Birds look bad, the fact is that they seem to catch pitchers on their best days.

The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Manny Machado homered to right field. Jimenez would come out in the last of the inning and issue two walks, however Michael Brantley would proceed to line into a double-play at second base. However Jimenez’s luck ran out after he walked Brandon Moss, and the Cleveland tied the score on Nick Swisher’s RBI-single.

Courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I say that Jimenez’s luck ran out because that was the second inning in which he had to attempt to walk a trapeze. In the second inning he had the bases loaded with one out, and he proceeded to strike out Michael Bourn and Jose Ramirez to end the inning. He would also have two runners on in the fifth before striking out Lonnie Chisenhall and getting Yan Gomez to ground into a force out.

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Cleveland took the lead in the last of the sixth when Carlos Santana smacked an RBI-double to right field which scored Jason Kipnis. (By this point Brad Brach, who had relieved Jimenez and took the loss, was in the game.) And that was the ballgame. Chris Davis drew a one-out walk in the ninth, however Matt Wieters struck out and Davis was thrown out trying to steal second.

One thing I found interesting was that in the fourth inning Cleveland manager Terry Francona asked Michael Bourn to bunt Yan Gomes to third base with nobody out. It seemed like a strange time to play for one run, and in fact it all but helped the Orioles to get out of the inning. Buck Showalter called for a bunt to get Ryan Flaherty to second base in the eighth, which Caleb Joseph executed flawlessly. However in similar fashion, Cleveland got out of the inning.

The wind was blowing in off of Lake Erie for most of the game, however tomorrow afternoon the wind is expected to be reversed and blowing out. One thing that seemed to affect hitters on both teams was the shadows, given the late afternoon start. It’s tough for hitters to pick up the ball when they’re in the shade (provided by the grandstand) and the pitcher is in sun.

Bud Norris will make his return from the DL tomorrow, and thus will get the start in the rubber game in Cleveland. Norris is still on the DL as of this evening, so the O’s will have to make a roster move prior to the game tomorrow. It’s unclear who the corresponding move will involve, but presumably it’ll be a relief pitcher. Norris will be opposed by Carlos Carasco of Cleveland, with game time set for just after 1 PM.

Next: Baltimore Orioles: Double Standard In the Brian Matusz Case?

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