After spending more than a year-and-a-half struggling to regain his effectiveness, Ubaldo Jimenez is looking more like the pitcher the Indians thought they were acquiring mid-2011. The Tribe right-hander dominated Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon, throwing eight innings of four-hit ball, striking out seven, and more importantly, walking just a single batter. He also threw 72 of his 108 pitches for strikes.
The start marks only the second time that he completed eight innings during his stint in Cleveland. The last time he completed the feat was way back on August 10, 2011, spanning a total of 50 starts.
After beginning the season with the same type of struggles as 2012, Jimenez finally looks like he turned the corner. In six of his last seven starts he’s allowed two or fewer runs, while striking out 46 and walking just 16.
Offensively speaking, designated hitter Jason Giambi went two-for-four with a double and a dinger, his fifth of the year, while driving in three. And shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera added his fifth homerun of the year too, a two-run shot in the fifth inning.
Vinnie Pestano, who’s looked shaky the last several outings, pitched a scoreless ninth inning, issuing one free pass.
Tampa Bay’s starter Chris Archer is a former member of the Cleveland organization, having been traded as part of the package to the Cubs that fetched utility man Mark DeRosa. Chicago then sent the promising right-hander to Tampa in January 2011, for Matt Garza.
The win is the third for the Tribe in the last four games. Zach McAllister looks to the team the series win tomorrow against the struggling Jeremy Hellickson. Game time is 1:05.