SPORTS

Jimenez allows 1 hit over 7 innings, Schoop hits grand slam as Orioles beat Blue Jays 7-1

04/11/2015 09:56 EDT | Updated 06/14/2015 10:59 EDT
BALTIMORE - Ubaldo Jimenez finally gave the Baltimore Orioles exactly what they wanted when they spent $50 million to sign him as a free agent.

Jimenez struck out eight and allowed one single over seven sparkling innings, Jonathan Schoop hit a grand slam and the Orioles cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.

Alejandro De Aza and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who rebounded from a 12-5 loss to Toronto in their home opener Friday.

Jimenez (1-0) also enjoyed a bounce-back performance following a poor 2014 season. After signing the most lucrative contract the franchise ever offered a free agent pitcher, the right-hander went 6-9 and lost his place in the starting rotation.

Following an effective spring training in which he successfully overhauled his mechanics, Jimenez retired 21 of 23 Toronto batters.

"You have to forget about what happened in the past and you have to forget quick," Jimenez said. "It doesn't matter whether it is good or bad. You can't do anything with the past."

Jimenez got nine straight outs before Jose Reyes hit a sinking liner to left that a diving De Aza barely missed grabbing. Jimenez then retired eight in a row — not allowing a ball out of the infield — before walking Reyes in the sixth.

"Tonight was a good reminder why he's been a good quality major league starter for a long time," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you've got any type of heart or feelings at all you know how much it means for him to contribute."

After Tommy Hunter worked a hitless eighth, Zach Britton gave up a double to Steve Tolleson and an RBI single to Edwin Encarnacion in the ninth.

Aaron Sanchez (0-1) allowed three runs and seven hits over 3 1-3 innings for the Blue Jays in his first major league start. He surrendered two homers, twice as many as he yielded last season in 24 games as a reliever.

"Obviously, this isn't the way I want to start the season," Sanchez said. "I got out there and tried to slow things down too much. I started aiming a little bit. It was not the night I wanted."

On Friday, the Blue Jays scored four first-inning runs and rolled to an easy victory. In this one, the Orioles wasted no time taking control. De Aza marked his 31st birthday by driving Sanchez's second pitch over the right-field wall, and Davis hit an opposite-field shot to left with one out for a 2-0 lead.

It was the first homer of the year for Davis, who hit 53 two years ago and 26 last season through Sept. 10 before a 25-game suspension for using Adderall.

The only home run Sanchez allowed last year was to Davis on Aug. 5.

Baltimore used three singles and a double-play grounder by Adam Jones to make it 3-0 in the third.

That was more than enough offence for Jimenez.

"He was just throwing strikes," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "I think that's the best we've seen him since he came over here."

The Orioles pulled away in the fifth against Todd Remond. A single and two walks loaded the bases for Schoop, who hit a 1-1 pitch into the left-field seats for his first career grand slam.

CLUBHOUSE TV

Blue Jays: While some of the players were watching the end of the Yankees-Red Sox game, Dioner Navarro and Jose Bautista were glued to the Barcelona-Sevilla Spanish league soccer game on an iPad. Navarro was wearing a Lionel Messi jersey and cheered each time the forward touched the ball.

Orioles: The players mostly ignored the Yankees-Red Sox game, focusing instead on the Master's.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: Bautista returned to the lineup after leaving Friday's game with leg cramps.

Orioles: LHP Wesley Wright was placed on the 15-day list after experiencing tightness in his left shoulder while pitching Friday. The Orioles recalled RHP Eddie Gamboa from Triple-A Norfolk to fill out the bullpen.

ON DECK

Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison (1-0, 1.09 ERA) is making his second start after holding the Yankees to one run over six innings in Toronto's 6-1 victory on opening day.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (1-0, 1.35 ERA) is looking to pick up his second win after allowing just one run in 6 2-3 innings in a 6-2 victory over Tampa Bay in the season opener.

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