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TOR@BAL: Davis launches his first home run to center

BALTIMORE -- History suggests Ubaldo Jimenez isn't at his best early in the season. The beginning of the right-hander's career with the Orioles backs up this narrative.

In his third start this season, Jimenez allowed five runs and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings -- including two home runs -- while Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle silenced the Orioles' lineup, as Baltimore fell, 11-3, on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (5-7), entered the series having won three of four games. The Blue Jays (7-6), who had 17 hits, took the lead by scoring twice in the fourth inning. They chased Jimenez (0-3) during a five-run sixth.

"Tough one, really bad one," said Jimenez, who signed a four-year contract as a free agent this spring. "I couldn't be there for the team once again."

He recorded three strikeouts, two walks and one wild pitch against the Blue Jays, who took the rubber game of the series. The Orioles have lost both of their home series this season.

Colby Rasmus homered for the second straight game and drove in three runs. Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista also smacked home runs, while Rasmus, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind each had three hits.

Jimenez has allowed 13 runs on 23 hits over his first three starts this season, with 13 strikeouts and 10 walks. Over 30 career starts during March and April, Jimenez is 10-12 with a 5.20 ERA, his highest ERA in any month.

"If you look at his history, [Jimenez] gets better as the year goes along," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's better than that."

Buehrle (3-0) is certainly better this season against the Orioles. The veteran left-hander held the Orioles to one run on five hits over seven innings, without issuing a walk. He went 0-3 with an 8.16 ERA in three starts versus Baltimore last season.

"[Mark] pitches to contact. They hit some balls right on the money and took us deep out there, but he kept them in the ballpark," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's one of those guys where nothing surprises me. He's a survivor. He's had a tremendous career. Guys like that, they know how to win."

Baltimore scored twice off reliever Esmil Rogers in the eighth, as Chris Davis and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back home runs. Davis' homer was his first of the season, but the O's tallied only five runs during the series.

Adam Jones plated Baltimore's initial run with a first-inning groundout. Delmon Young had two hits, including a double, and produced a defensive gem with an outfield assist in the third that nailed Bautista trying to stretch his hit into a double.

The O's trouble started quickly, courtesy of a familiar foe. Rasmus hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning on Saturday night, a game Baltimore eventually won, 2-1, in 12 innings. The outfielder greeted Jimenez with a blast deep over the right-field wall in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.

Dioner Navarro's RBI groundout in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie before the crowd of 39,281. Then, Encarnacion raced home from third base on Jonathan Diaz's squeeze bunt to give Toronto a 3-1 advantage.

Jimenez left in the sixth after surrendering two hits, including Lawrie's leadoff homer.

"I've been missing right down the middle of the plate," Jimenez said. "I've been making too many mistakes right down the middle of the plate. That's something I have to work on."

Reliever Josh Stinson entered and promptly allowed an inherited runner to score, as well as three runs of his own, on four hits in the inning. Bautista's solo blast came in the eighth.

Baltimore's offense would surely help its starters by putting up some early runs. The Orioles went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position during the first two innings against Buehrle.

"[Jimenez is] a veteran guy. He knows what he is doing out there," Davis said. "I can't imagine pitching behind all the time. ... He's been through the fire, and we know he's going to be there for us."

Baltimore starts a three-game series with the Rays at home on Monday. Toronto's nine-game road trip continues with stops in Minnesota and Cleveland. Comments