March 13, 2015

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Ubaldo Jimenez, who is competing for the fifth spot in Baltimore's rotation, allowed three runs in four innings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Orioles 5-3 on Friday.

Jimenez signed a four-year, $50 million contract a year ago and had a troubled 2014. With six starters vying for five spots, Jimenez will have to definitively show manager Buck Showalter he's worthy of a spot.

Against Toronto, Jimenez gave up three runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Daric Barton and a two-run double by Chris Dickerson.

In three starts, Jimenez has been charged with nine runs on 12 hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Jimenez says he's trying to ignore the competition.

''Even the first day in spring training, I never put that in my mind, `you're going to have to throw seriously because you're competing.' I'm doing the same thing that I've been doing the last 13 spring trainings, counting the minor leagues, and that's getting myself ready for the season,'' Jimenez said.

''That's the only thing I have in my mind, doing whatever you can to get ready for the season.''

Manager Buck Showalter said he thinks there is room for improvement.

''He's been open to a lot of things. Top to bottom, he's done a lot of things in the offseason that he hasn't done before. Usually those guys - doing the things he's trying to do - usually get a return for it. I couldn't be happier with his effort and the want-to part of it,'' Showalter said.

Aaron Sanchez, who is likely to inherit the spot vacated by the injured Marcus Stroman, allowed two runs on five hits in 3 1-3 innings for Toronto.

STARTING TIME: Sanchez, who pitched three hitless innings in his previous appearance against Pittsburgh, was thrilled with his outing.

''I felt amazing today,'' he said. ''I felt I could go out there and pitch two or three more innings.''

Sanchez was probably going to be in the bullpen before Stroman's season-ending ACL tear.

''Wherever this team was better, if that was me in the starting rotation or me in the bullpen I knew that was what I was going to do and that was what I was going to excel at,'' Sanchez said.

TRAINER'S ROOM:

Orioles: Minor league INF Paul Janish, who had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow last month, will play in the Orioles' game against the Puerto Rico Development Program on Saturday. ... RHP Bud Norris, who in his second start on Thursday mentioned having some back tightness after his first start, is fine, Showalter said. ... RHP Ryan Webb, who has a swollen left knee reported improvement and is nearing a return.

Blue Jays: OF Michael Saunders, who is recovering from a torn left meniscus, is well ahead of schedule and hopes to play in the final week of spring games. He's taking batting practice and catching fly balls. Saunders now hopes to play on opening day. He was originally forecast to be out until mid-April. ... LHP Brett Cecil, out with a sore shoulder, is progressing, but not yet ready to pitch. ... OF Edwin Encarnacion is still out with a back inflammation.

A-ROD'S COMING: Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to make the trip on Saturday when the Blue Jays host the New York Yankees. It is scheduled to be Rodriguez's first road game.

UP NEXT:

Blue Jays: LHP Daniel Norris starts for Toronto against the Yankees' RHP Esmil Rogers, a former Blue Jay, on Saturday.

Orioles: LHP Brian Matusz gets a start for the Orioles against Tampa Bay RHP Nathan Karns.

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