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Ubaldo Jimenez gets win No. 100 as Baltimore Orioles down Washington Nationals

By
David Driver, The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2015. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2015. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON -- Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was doused with shaving cream by teammates Gerardo Parra and Wei-Yin Chen after his outing on Tuesday night in Washington.

Not only did the veteran right-hander keep Baltimore alive in a longshot bid to make the playoffs, but Jimenez became just the 11th Dominican-born pitcher to win 100 games in the majors as Baltimore beat the Washington Nationals 4-1.

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"It means a lot," said the smiling Jimenez, with shaving cream around his shirt collar. "You take a break and look back ... it seems like yesterday that I got to the big leagues" in 2006.

Hall of Famer Juan Marichal had 243 wins to lead Dominican pitchers while Ramon Martinez, an Oriole pitching instructor who has tutored Jimenez, had 135. Jimenez allowed just one unearned run and three hits in the win over the Nationals.

"He was locating the two-seamer very good," said Jose Lobaton, the Washington catcher. "He was mixing everything; he was nasty."

Jimenez also got his second RBI of the season with an RBI single in the second. He allowed just one unearned run and three singles in six innings.

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"He takes the ball every fifth day," Showalter said. "It is a big moment for him."

The Orioles and Jimenez got a big break in the fourth inning when opposing pitcher Gio Gonzalez bunted into a rare 2-5-4 double play, with Baltimore second baseman Jonathan Schoop catching the throw at first. Gonzalez was originally called safe but Showalter challenged the call and it was overturned.

"Not a lot of second baseman would have made it there" to first, Showalter said of Schoop.

Washington had just three hits while right fielder Bryce Harper was held hitless but had three walks, giving him a franchise record 118 for the year.

"It is unbelievable to see how many walks he can take in a year," Lobaton said. "He is one of the greatest hitters I have ever seen."

The Orioles (74-76) prevailed behind two runs in the second inning and two more in the fifth. They began the day six games back of the Houston Astros for the second American League wild card.

Washington (78-72) won seven of its previous eight games. The Nationals remained 6 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Mets in the National League East after the Mets lost to the Atlanta Braves, 6-2.

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Jimenez (12-9) gave up three hits and five walks with five strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 4.16. He doubled his win total from a 6-9 season in 2014.

Brad Brach pitched two scoreless innings for Baltimore, and Darren O'Day finished up in the ninth for his fourth save of the year and just the 12th of his career in 454 appearances. He struck out second baseman Anthony Rendon for the final out.

"Brad, along with Ubaldo, was one of the keys to the game," Showalter said.

Washington center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who had two hits, reached on a two-base error by right fielder Steve Pearce to start the ninth. However, O'Day got the final three outs as the Orioles held Washington to just three singles -- two of which stayed in the infield. None of the top five hitters in the Washington batting order had a hit.

Nationals left-hander Gonzalez (11-8) fell to 1-5 in his career against Baltimore. He allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second on hard-hit RBI singles by Jimenez and leadoff hitter Nolan Reimold, the left fielder. It was the second hit of the season in six at-bats for Jimenez, who entered this season with a lifetime batting average of .113 in 274 at-bats.

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Washington pulled to within 2-1 in the fourth as first baseman Clint Robinson scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Lobaton. Robinson led off by reaching on a two-base error by Junior Lake, who was making his first start in center for the Orioles.

First baseman Chris Davis and left fielder Steve Pearce had back-to-back RBI doubles to left to give the Orioles a 4-1 lead in the fifth. Third baseman Manny Machado just beat a relay with a head-first slide into home for the first run of the frame and Baltimore put a dent in the playoff hopes of the Nationals.

"We have to keep fighting. We still have a chance," Lobaton said.

NOTES: Orioles 3B Manny Machado collected his 500th career hit with a fifth-inning single. ... Washington OF Bryce Harper drew his 117th walk of the year in the fifth. That broke Adam Dunn's franchise record, set in 2009, for walks in a season. ...Orioles OF Adam Jones was out of the starting lineup because of back spasms. "He's better. That is encouraging," said manager Buck Showalter, who did not commit to Jones starting on Wednesday. ... Washington INF Danny Espinosa had an MRI on Tuesday that showed a right hamstring tear. "We have to be cautious," said manager Matt Williams. ... Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (9-11, 5.19 ERA) will face Washington RHP Max Scherzer (12-11, 2.90 ERA) on Wednesday.

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