Jimenez makes last push for rotation; Orioles top Braves 3-2

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Ubaldo Jimenez wrapped up his spring by allowing one run in four innings, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Friday night.

Jimenez, competing with Kevin Gausman for the fifth starter's spot in Baltimore, improved markedly over his seven starts. Exactly a month ago, Jimenez gave up five earned runs in 1 1-3 innings against Detroit.

His succeeding outings have been much better, especially his control. Jimenez issued three walks in his last 23 innings.

''It gives you confidence when you can do things good. It's great because if you do what you're doing right here, if you do it in the season, you're going to be able to get people out,'' Jimenez said.

He had a scary moment in the second Friday when Christian Bethancourt lined a ball off his right foot, but Jimenez said his shoe cushioned the blow.

Shelby Miller, who will be Atlanta's third starter, gave up three runs in five innings.

''This is one of the strongest springs I've had,'' Miller said. ''We're excited about our team that we have. We have a good shot at having a great 2015, and all of us believe in that.''

Alejandro De Aza led off the fifth with his third home run of the spring for Baltimore.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: OF Joey Terdoslavich (left wrist) could start the season on the disabled list, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ... OF Nick Markakis stayed back at camp to get at-bats in a simulated game. He was 2 for 3 against the Orioles on Thursday night. Markakis missed much of spring training recovering from neck fusion surgery. He said on Thursday he was 95 percent certain he'd be ready to start the season.

Orioles: INF-OF Jimmy Paredes might start the season on the disabled list, manager Buck Showalter said. Paredes strained his lower back lifting weights.

Paredes could join J.J. Hardy (left shoulder), David Lough (hamstring) and Matt Wieters (elbow) on the disabled list. None have officially been placed on the DL yet.

STARTING TIME

Braves: Gonzalez said Friday's release of LHP Wandy Rodriguez was difficult. ''It was really tough. He pitched really well,'' the manager said.

Rodriguez was deemed expendable because of Thursday's acquisition of RHP Trevor Cahill from Arizona. Gonzalez said LHP Eric Stults will start the Braves' home opener next Friday.

Cahill will arrive Saturday and pitch in a simulated game at Kissimmee. Gonzalez said Cahill will be used out of the bullpen until the Braves need a fifth starter.

Orioles: RHP Bud Norris has been chosen to start the home opener against Toronto next Friday. Norris has a spring training record of 0-3 with a 9.25 ERA. Last year, he was 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA.

''I've got a lot of confidence the guy that pitched for us last year is going to pitch for us this year,'' Showalter said.

TRANSACTIONS

Braves: Besides releasing Rodriguez, Atlanta also released C Jesus Flores and reassigned veteran RHP Chien-Ming Wang to minor league camp. The Braves have 34 players in camp, and Gonzalez said he thought the team would cut the roster to 25 on Saturday.

Orioles: Baltimore reassigned INFs Paul Janish and Jayson Nix to minor league camp. The team has 33 players in camp.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz, in contention for one of the last few spots in Atlanta's bullpen, gets the start in the team's final Grapefruit League game against Baltimore on Saturday.

Orioles: Minor league RHP Zach Davies, who started Monday at Tampa Bay, gets the start in the Orioles' last Grapefruit League game at Atlanta on Saturday.

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