Baseball / Sports

Indians beat Orioles 9-0; Baltimore's Jimenez is chased out early

BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez seemed to have put a forgettable opening month of the season behind him. As has been the case in past years, Jimenez struggled in April, but began to find success when the calendar turned to May.

But the club's primary offseason addition – Jimenez signed a four-year, $50-million deal in February, the largest free agent contract agreed to with a pitcher in club history – appears to have reverted to his early season form.

Facing his former club, Jimenez recorded just 12 outs and was unable to retire a batter before being chased from a five-run fifth inning as the Orioles lost 9-0 to the Cleveland Indians in front of an announced 36,873 at Camden Yards.

The nine-run margin of defeat was Baltimore's season-worst.

The Orioles (24-23) lost for the ninth time in their last 13 games and were shut out for the fourth time this season after scoring 38 runs in their previous five games.

The club recorded just one extra base hit – Nelson Cruz's one-out double in the fourth inning – as right-hander Corey Kluber handcuffed the Orioles' bats for seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits while striking out nine and walking two in arguably the best start of his career.

After posting quality starts in his first three May outings – pitching to a 0.47 ERA over that stretch – Jimenez has allowed 10 runs over his past two starts.

On Saturday, Jimenez suffered his shortest outing of the season, going just four innings, and tied a season-high with five walks as the Indians plated five runs on four hits.

As his pitch count ballooned through the early innings on Saturday, it appeared that Jimenez was destined for a short outing before the Indians batted around in the fifth. The first seven Cleveland hitters reached base in the inning.

The trouble began when Jimenez issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Santana – who drew three walks and hit a first-pitch two-run home run in the game. Santana came around to score following back-to-back singles by Yan Gomes and Justin Sellers, the bottom two hitters in the Cleveland lineup.

Michael Bourn drew another walk and Mike Aviles' single put the Indians (24-26) up 2-0 and chased Jimenez from the game after 99 pitches.

Left-hander T.J. McFarland didn't fare much better as all three inherited runners scored. He hit Michael Brantley with a pitch to plate one run and Lonnie Chisenhall singled to right to score another run.

The Orioles didn't record an out in the inning until Ryan Raburn, the eighth batter of the frame, hit into a double play that scored the fifth run of the inning.

The Indians scored four runs in the seventh, two of those coming on Santana's homer off Brad Brach, which carried onto the grounds crew shed in right-center field.

Brach had just entered the game one batter after Raburn hit a two-run double to left.

(c)2014 The Baltimore Sun

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