Former Cleveland Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez parlayed a remarkable September into a four-year, $50 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles.
Unfortunately for the Orioles, he has yet to be as consistent as he was down the stretch last season.
Jimenez takes the mound opposite Corey Kluber as Baltimore continues a four-game set against the visiting Indians on Saturday.
Jimenez (2-5, 4.50 ERA) joined the Orioles after spending the previous 2 1/2 seasons in Cleveland (23-26), where he went 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA over his final six starts in 2013.
The right-hander got off to a rough start with his new team, though, going 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in April. While Jimenez went 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA in his first three starts this month, his woes resumed in Sunday's 8-6 loss at Kansas City.
"It's a tough game," said Jimenez, who allowed five runs and needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. "I felt really good and I made a lot of good pitches. They had a good approach. I threw a lot of sinkers down and they found the hole every time. They had a really good game. There's nothing I can do but move on."
Jimenez will try to do that against his former team, which had won four straight before falling 8-4 on Friday. Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer, Cleveland's lone hit in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Orioles (24-22), meanwhile, improved to 4-8 over their last 12 thanks to another big game from Chris Davis. The slugging first baseman, who hit three homers on Tuesday, went deep again and drove in four runs.
Nelson Cruz also came up big with his major league best-tying 15th homer, giving him five and 13 RBIs over a 10-game stretch.
"These guys can swing," winning pitcher Bud Norris said. "They're professional hitters. They've been doing it for a long time."
Coming off back-to-back three-hit efforts, Adam Jones has proven to be a tough out of late, too. The All-Star center fielder has hit safely in all but one of the last 17 games, going 27 for 74 (.365) with five homers, 12 RBIs and 15 runs.
"I think this is really the first time we've all been swinging the bat well collectively," said Davis, who is 8 for 16 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in the last four games. "Nelson's been hot all year. Jonesy is really starting to come on. ... It's big for us, especially in the middle of the lineup."
The Orioles will try to get the best of Kluber (4-3, 3.43), who is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA in four starts this month. The right-hander allowed three runs over seven-plus innings in Monday's 5-4, 10-inning victory over Detroit.
Kluber was knocked around in his lone appearance against Baltimore, yielding seven runs and a career worst-tying 11 hits over 4 2-3 innings in a 7-3 road loss June 27. It's unclear if he'll have to face Manny Machado, who missed Friday's game with a stiff groin.
"I can't give you an official answer, but we'll see," Machado, batting .313 during a seven-game hitting streak, told the Orioles' official website. "We're just going to keep treating it and hopefully it gets better tomorrow and hopefully I can be there. But right now, we're just taking it day by day."
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera also sat out Friday with knee and foot injuries, leaving his status for this game in doubt.