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Ubaldo Jimenez surprises everyone as the Orioles beat the Padres 7-2

After two tough losses in a row, the Orioles needed to win this game. And whaddya know? Ubaldo Jimenez was the stopper.

I was not looking forward to Ubaldo Jimenez’s start tonight. You were not looking forward to it. Based on his comments in the pre-game press conference in which he admitted Ubaldo was only starting because there was no one else, Buck Showalter wasn’t looking forward to it. It’s possible that even Ubaldo wasn’t looking forward to it.

And in a shocking development, by the time Ubaldo walked off the mound for the last time tonight, we were all pretty happy! Well, maybe not you weirdos who are rooting for Ubaldo to pitch poorly so that he’ll be DFA’d. But the rest of us liked what we saw!

Things didn’t start out so well for Jimenez as leadoff hitter and general menace Travis Jankowski singled on the very first pitch he saw. Two batters later Matt Kemp singled Jankowski in, and Ubaldo issued the first of his four walks on the night before getting out of the inning.

After that, not only did Jimenez settle down but the offense settled in. The scoring started in the bottom of the second with a game-tying home run by Mark Trumbo, his 21st of the year. Hopefully tonight is the night that Trumbo broke out of his slump as the dinger was the first of two extra-base hits on the night.

The O’s took the lead in the third thanks to some sneaky baserunning by both Adam Jones and by third base coach Bobby Dickerson. With two outs and Jones on first, Jonathan Schoop hit a line drive to left-center field that bounced in front of Jankowski.

Running on the pitch, Jones easily made it to third base. Jankowski didn’t rush the throw into the infield as Jones started to slow towards third. Dickerson noticed and threw up the windmill, prompting Jones to speed up again score easily. Well done!

Continuing their one-run-per-inning pace in the fourth inning, Mark Trumbo doubled with no outs and scored the O’s third run on a bouncer up the the middle by Matt Wieters.

While the O’s were slowly and steadily scoring runs, Jimenez was working to keep the Padres off the board. He walked Jankowski in the third, and immediately allowed him to steal second, but kept the runner from getting any further. He walked two more in the fourth but again got out of his own jam. He was far from perfect, but he did a good job of cleaning up his own messes.

The Padres did get on the board one more time in a fifth inning that could have been a lot worse. Again Jankowski started the inning, again he got on base, again he stole second. I will not miss that guy.

A single from Kemp again knocked Jankowski in and just like that it was a one-run game. With two outs Melvin Upton hit a long fly ball to left field. It was the type that flies so high that it’s hard to see immediately where it crosses the foul pole. The ump immediately called it foul but for some reason both Kemp and Upton continued to run the bases as though it was a monster dong.

There was one angle where it clearly looked like the ball was foul, the angle right down the baseline similar to what the umpire would see in real time. The other angles were inconclusive. As such the play was upheld and Kemp had to return to his base. Sadly the umps did not make Upton run backwards around the bases to undo his non-dinger.

Upton struck out on the next pitch and started throwing his equipment around and complaining some more to the umpire. It was not a good look.

I think the Orioles realized that a one-run lead wasn’t a good idea, so they promptly scored three more.

First up was Ryan Flaherty, who hit is third home run of the season to center field. In my head Flaherty was thinking, "That’s how you hit a dong, Upton!" as he rounded the bases.

Singles by Jones and Hyun Soo Kim and a rare walk by Schoop loaded the bases for Chris Davis. I was hoping for a grand slam but that went out the window when the Padres pitcher threw what looked at first like a wild pitch that allowed Jones to score.

Replay showed that Davis was clearly hit on the foot, but he hilariously not only didn’t even react to it, he gave no indication that he was going to first base. He wanted to stay in the box and hit a home run, I could see it in his eyes. But the review confirmed the HBP and he was forced to take his base.

They only scored one more run in the inning thanks to a sac fly from Wieters, but their one-run lead had been increased to four, making it easier to stomach that Ubaldo was coming back out for the sixth inning. Still, I was worried, though Ubaldo proved me wrong. The sixth inning was his best of the night as he struck out the side.

The O’s added a seventh run in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of an error in the infield that allowed Flaherty to get to second instead of popping out. That gave Kim the chance to knock in another run and he did just that.

With six good innings in the books for Ubaldo, Showalter turned to two of his most reliable guys to finish the game. Brad Brach pitched two perfect innings and Zach Britton had a shaky start to the ninth but retired three straight with two runners on to end the game.

O’s win! It was the 1000th win in Camden Yards history, which is pretty cool. They should have swept the Padres, but after last night’s demoralizing loss they got right back at it and took this game easily. They now have a well-earned day off before taking on the Rays for four games over the weekend.