- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - It wasn’t facing his former team that brought out the worst in Ubaldo Jimenez. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much been like that all season for the $50 million right-hander.

Jimenez didn’t get out of the fifth inning Saturday in the Baltimore Orioles' 9-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander tied two undesirable season highs, giving up five runs and walking five, in four-plus innings.

Since leaving the Indians to sign a four-year, $50 million contract with Baltimore in February, Jimenez (2-6, 4.98 ERA) has struggled on the mound. He went 0-4 in April and appeared to be on the rebound in May until he gave up five runs in five innings at Kansas City on Sunday.

This was even worse.

“It looked like I was just missing a little bit of the strike zone. I’m not that far away, but I’m missing,” Jimenez said. “I’m falling behind in the count, getting myself into trouble. Today was walking the leadoff guy.”

That’s what happened in the fifth inning, when Cleveland sent seven players to the plate before making an out.

Carlos Santana homered and walked three times for the Indians, who took control in the fifth and pulled away by scoring four in the seventh.

Corey Kluber (5-3) struck out nine in seven innings to become the first pitcher in the majors this season to have five straight outings with at least eight strikeouts. He gave up five hits, walked two and did not allow a runner past second base.

“Aside from throwing a lot of strikes, the biggest thing is working inside and outside,” Kluber said. “I think the key is just working ahead. Getting ahead early and staying ahead in the count and not really letting them get comfortable up there.”

Kluber is 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 48 strikeouts in five starts this month.

In this one, the right-hander dominated an offense that had produced 38 runs and 62 hits in its previous five games.

Jimenez matched zeroes with Kluber until the fifth inning, when he was pulled before getting an out.

Manager Buck Showalter suggested that Jimenez didn’t get strike calls from home plate umpire Rob Drake on close pitches, and Jimenez agreed.

“I think I threw a lot of good pitches, but I don’t know the umpire. He didn’t like it,” the pitcher said. “There’s nothing I can do right now.”

Jimenez spent 2½ seasons with Cleveland before signing with the Orioles.

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