Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez with a gem in walk off win

You aren’t going to see Ubaldo Jimenez pitch better than he did for the Baltimore Orioles last night. You just aren’t. This was the second consecutive start in which the Orioles’ beleaguered right hander put the Birds in a spot to win. The difference is that this time around he didn’t end up a hard-luck loser. Jimenez’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Few people would have thought that the Orioles would have gotten into a pitcher’s duel with Jimenez on the mound against Kansas City – and won. Admittedly, the game started somwhat inauspicious for the O’s. Jimenez allowed a base runner early, and Hosmer’s RBI-double gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead in the first. However Jimenez pitched out of it, and mimized the damage to just that one run.

Other than that, Jimenez was flawless. While it’s understandable that some fans wanted him DFA’d long ago, it’s also worth throwing in that last night wouldn’t have been possible without Jimenez. The Orioles still would have paid him for last night’s game, but he wouldn’t have been playing. And the effort the team got out of him last night wouldn’t have happened.

That 1-0 for Kansas City stood up until the last of the fifth when Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI-single tied the game up. And on we played. In fairness, Kansas City’s pitching was equally as good. This is an Orioles team that put up ten runs in Texas on Sunday. For the most part they were stymied last night.

With the game tied at one in the last of the ninth and Joseph on first, Ruben Tejada broke an 0-for-19 string with a base hit. It also sent the winnin run to second base in the form of Joseph. But could the Orioles close it out with the bottom of the order up?

You can’t look at it that way in that situation. You have to look at it from the perspective of all you need is a base hit. And luckily for the O’s, Craig Gentry came through. His RBI-single up the middle scored Joseph and walked the Orioles off winners, 2-1. The victory brought them within three games of .500, and started the home stand off right.

The Orioles’ bullpen was used a bit more than they would have liked on Sunday, and the effort that Jimenez gave the team last night really freshened up a few arms in the ‘pen. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t get the win, which instead went to closer Zach Britton. But them’s the breaks. The O’s were only in a spot to win the game because of Ubaldo Jimenez’s effort to begin with.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Ian Kennedy. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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