BALTIMORE – Perhaps the most challenging road trip of the season awaits. The Orioles play nine games in Oakland, Los Angeles and Seattle after winning five of seven on their homestand.
Their week at home didn’t end the way they wanted it to. Ubaldo Jimenez allowed six runs, and they lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-1 before 33,381 at Oriole Park on Sunday.
“I've moved onto Oakland. If you go in there and ask our guys would they have taken that before we got here, no, they were shooting for all seven,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That's the way you play, just like the road trip. We know the reality of the math, the way it usually works but we did some things good, some things we have to be better at, we'll stay engaged in this and we have a challenging trip ahead of us.”
In their first two games against the Detroit Tigers, the Orioles scored eight runs in each game, recording a huge comeback win, and nearly completing another.
No such luck on Sunday.
“They're a good offensive team and we didn't pitch particularly well,” Showalter said.
For the second straight start, Jimenez started out shakily, giving up a three-run home run to his fifth batter, J.D. Martinez. But unlike his previous start when he allowed a two-run home run in the first inning and then threw six hitless innings, Jimenez had an awful fifth inning.
“It’s always bad every time you give up runs in the first inning, because you’re putting the team in a bad spot. You’re putting the other pitcher [in a situation where] he’s comfortable on the mound because he has a lead. It’s part of the game. I have to find out a way to get rid of those innings because I’ve been struggling with that in my last three or four games,” Jimenez said.
After Martinez’s home run, his 29th of the season, Jimenez (8-7) retired 12 straight until Rajai Davis doubled to right. Nolan Reimold’s relay throw hit Jonathan Schoop, and Davis wound up on third on the error.
Davis scored on Anthony Gose’s single. Gose stole second and third and scored on Jose Igelesias’ triple, which was misplayed by Adam Jones in center field. After Ian Kinsler’s single scored Iglesias, Jimenez was done and replaced by Jorge Rondon.
Jimenez allowed six runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. In two starts against Detroit (51-54) since the All-Star break, he gave up 13 runs in 9 1/3 innings.
“They have a pretty good lineup and they make adjustments. If you go away, they’re going to try to hit the ball the other way. I think a lot of their guys who hit for power, they can find the holes. They hit the ball where nobody it most of the time,” Jimenez said.
Daniel Norris, who was obtained by the Tigers on Thursday in the David Price trade, allowed only a home run to Chris Davis in the fourth inning. It was the only run scored by the Orioles (53-51).
Davis has 26 home runs and 72 RBIs this season, the same numbers he had in all of 2014.
“Last year, I had the oblique early on, something that really bothered me all the way to the offseason, and I didn’t realize it, really the impact that it had on me until the middle of this year when I was able to start driving pitches to all fields like I had in previous years,” Davis said.
In the seventh, Gose singled with one out, and advanced two bases on a wild pitch, but was thrown out trying to score after Iglesias flied to center.
Rondon, who was optioned to Norfolk to make room for Tyler Wilson, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his Orioles debut. Wilson will start in place of Chris Tillman on Monday.
Showalter was impressed with Norris (2-1) during spring training. He certainly didn’t enjoy his work. After Davis’ home run, Norris retired 12 straight until Schoop’s single with one out in the eighth.
Norris allowed one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings.
“These are the type of guys you get back for David Price, OK? And it's kind of like the type of guys you give up to get Andrew Miller,” Showalter said. “He's good. He's got a chance to be a good pitcher for them. The guy they gave up is right now. That's the way it works."
NOTES: Gerardro Parra and J.J. Hardy saw their 15-game hitting streaks end. … Rondon is the 1,001st player in Orioles franchise history. … The Orioles open a three-game series in Oakland. Wilson (1-1, 2.12) will face Jesse Chavez (5-10, 3.53) on Monday night.