Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ubaldo Jimenez Pitches Eight Shutout Innings to Lift Orioles over Blue Jays

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ubaldo Jimenez Pitches Eight Shutout Innings to Lift Orioles over Blue Jays

Article excerpt

Jimenez shines as Orioles top Blue Jays

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TORONTO - Ubaldo Jimenez came into Thursday night's game with just two wins on the season and a bloated 7.26 earned-run average.

A clinical performance from the Orioles right-hander -- eight shutout innings in Baltimore's 2-0 win -- showed the Blue Jays why they can't judge a pitcher off his numbers alone.

"You go into this game thinking Ubaldo Jimenez is throwing, statistically the worst pitcher in baseball. But he comes out and he throws the way he does," said Kevin Pillar, one of only two Blue Jays to get a hit off Jimenez all night.

"That's what makes this game so tough. You can't necessarily play the game according to the numbers. That's a big league pitcher out there who's had a lot of success in his career. ... It makes it tough when a guy doesn't have any consistent patterns out there."

Caleb Joseph drove in a run for Baltimore (39-39), Jonathan Schoop hit a sacrifice fly and Brad Brach pitched the ninth to earn his 15th save of the season.

Jimenez (3-3) struck out eight batters and walked one while improving to 8-5 in his career against the Blue Jays.

A pair of two-out doubles -- one from Ryan Goins in the third inning and another from Pillar in the eighth -- were his only blemishes. Russell Martin added a single for the Jays (37-41) off Brach in the ninth.

Jimenez was just as good Thursday as he was in his last start against Toronto on Sept. 29, 2016, when he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings while surrendering just one hit at Rogers Centre.

"Some guys are like that so you know automatically he's going to be confident coming in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the Orioles starter. "He did a nice job, that was a big part of it."

J.A. Happ (2-5) was the hard-luck loser, allowing two runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two while surpassing his loss total from all of last season.

"Early in the game I felt really strong, I thought I was getting some early outs, keeping the pitch count down," said Happ, who missed six weeks earlier this season with an elbow injury. "Any time you keep any team in this league, especially in this division, in the ballpark you give yourself a chance to win so overall I felt pretty good about it. …

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