Ubaldo Jimenez roughed up in 6-0 loss to Indians, Orioles may take him out of rotation



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CLEVELAND — Ubaldo Jimenez's first season with Baltimore hasn't gone as planned.

It might be time for drastic measures.

Jimenez was roughed up by the Cleveland Indians for the second time this season on Saturday night as the Orioles lost 6-0. The right-hander, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract as a free agent, has been on the disabled list and has only one win since June 30.

Following Jimenez's rugged outing — six runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings — manager Buck Showalter wouldn't commit to keeping him in the starting rotation.

"We're going to take a step back and see what direction we want to go with it," Showalter said. "We have to continue to put our best foot out there. On a given night it might be Ubaldo, tonight obviously it wasn't."

Jimenez gave up a three-run homer to Carlos Santana in the first inning and a two-run shot to Michael Brantley in the fifth as the Indians opened a 6-0 lead.

Jimenez said he can't worry about keeping his spot, but acknowledged he's frustrated.

"There's no doubt about it," he said. "It's hard knowing I haven't been consistent. It's definitely been difficult. I've been there before. I've been through a lot in my career. I've been at the top and I've been at the bottom. All I can do is keep working."

The Orioles are expected to recall Miguel Gonzalez from Triple-A next week. The right-hander could replace Jimenez in the rotation.

Carlos Carrasco (5-4) blanked the AL East-leading Orioles on three hits over seven innings. The right-hander got two inning-ending double plays to avoid early trouble and then retired 15 straight after giving up a leadoff double to Caleb Joseph in the third.

The Orioles have lost consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29.

Jimenez spent two-plus seasons with the Indians, who acquired him from Colorado at the trade deadline in 2011. The 30-year-old had his good and bad moments, but he saved his best for last September, when he went 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in six starts and helped the Indians clinch a playoff spot.

Jimenez cashed in on that run, signing his big deal in February.

But with the Orioles he's been inconsistent and injured. This was just his second start since coming off the disabled list with a sprained right ankle.

Jimenez came in leading the AL in walks, and he struggled to find his release point while putting Michael Bourn and Jose Ramirez on to start the first inning. One out and a passed ball later, Santana made his former batterymate pay with a towering blast into the shrubs behind the center-field wall.

"He didn't get off to a good start," Showalter said. "He walked the first two guys and the next thing you know we're down 3-0."

In two starts against the Indians, Jimenez has allowed 11 runs and 10 hits in 8 1-3 innings.

TURN TWO

The Orioles had early chances erased by double plays. Nick Markakis singled on the game's first pitch, but Adam Jones hit into a double play. In the second, the Orioles had runners at first and second with one out and Ryan Flaherty lined into a double play.

SERIES STREAK SNAPPED

The Orioles had won eight consecutive series but will have to settle for trying to salvage the finale. The Orioles had not lost a series since July 18-20 against Oakland. Despite the loss, they are an MLB-best 27-13 since June 30.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Jones played despite soreness in his right hand, which was hit Friday night when he tried to get down a bunt in the eighth inning.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (6-4), 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts, will try to salvage the series finale. In his only previous outing against the Indians, he took the loss in relief on Sept. 4, 2013, allowing two runs and three hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Indians: Enigmatic RHP Danny Salazar (4-5) will be recalled from the minors to make his 13th start. The hard thrower has battled mechanical issues this season, which began with him in the rotation. Salazar is 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA in seven starts in which he has pitched at least five innings.

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