NEW YORK (AP) — Two games into his career with the Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Jimenez is still in search of his first win.
Jimenez struggled with his control Monday in a 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees. He walked five and threw 65 of 109 pitches for strikes on a cool and overcast afternoon.
“I couldn’t throw my breaking ball for a strike,” he said. “I got ahead on a few guys with my fastball, but I couldn’t put them away with my breaking ball.”
After falling behind in the third inning on Derek Jeter’s run-scoring, double-play grounder, the Orioles tied the score on Matt Wieters’ RBI single in the fourth against Hiroki Kuroda (1-1). Hot-hitting rookie Yangervis Solarte singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom half.
New York made it 4-1 in the fifth when Jeter doubled high off the left-field fence leading off, Jacoby Ellsbury singled him in for his first hit in pinstripes, and Zach Britton relieved Jimenez with the bases loaded and walked Kelly Johnson.
“I let my team down there,” Britton said.
Jimenez (0-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, the 30-year-old right-hander’s second shaky start since agreeing to a $50 million, four-year contract on Feb. 19.
“He was just missing with some pitches,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “it was a cold day, and he was trying to get a feel for the baseball. He may not say it to you, but he knows that he had good stuff and that he was really crisp. It’s not like they hit it all over the ballpark. He was barely missing on pitches and had some counts in his favor.”
Before a crowd of 48,142 for the Yankees’ 112th homer opener, Kuroda gave up two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
After Nelson Cruz’s RBI single in the seventh, Matt Thornton, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley combined for hitless relief.
David Robertson is headed to the disabled list after straining a groin Sunday, so Kelley had the chance for his first career save and got three straight outs.
“I really missed it last year,” said Jeter, limited to 17 games in 2013 after breaking an ankle in October 2012.
With the Orioles trailing 2-1 in the fifth, rookie Jonathan Schoop doubled with outs and then was picked off by catcher Brian McCann.
David Lough swung and missed on a 2-1 pitch, and Jeter applied the tag.
“I thought it was two strikes. When I realized it wasn’t, I went to go back and I slipped,” Schoop said. “Those kind of mistakes can’t happen. There is no excuse for those kind of mistakes.”
Brian Roberts went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game against the Orioles, his team from when he signed out of college in 1999 through last year.
“When you’re playing against your best friends, it’s always strange,” he said. “You just try to realize that you’re doing a job and you focus, play the game and enjoy seeing them when you get a chance. The rest of it is you’ve got a different uniform on — try to win a game.”
NOTES: SS J.J. Hardy was not in the starting lineup for the second straight game because of back spasms. “He’s better than he was yesterday,” Showalter said. … Orioles LHP Johan Santana (shoulder surgery) was set to throw a two-inning simulated game. .. The Orioles acquired RHP Preston Guilmet from Cleveland for OF Torsten Boss in an exchange of minor leaguers. The 26-year-old Guilmet has a 2.57 ERA and 90 saves in 196 minor league games. He had a 1.68 ERA and 20 saves for Triple-A Columbus last year. … Baltimore OF Nolan Reimold, recovering from cervical spine fusion surgery, was transferred from the 15- to the 60-day DL.
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