(SURPRISE, Ariz.) – The Cleveland Indians are hopeful that right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will rebound from a tough 2012 season in which he went 9-17 with an ERA of 5.40, but on Friday afternoon he surrendered three solo-home runs in a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals in a Cactus League exhibition game. It was Jimenez’s final tune-up before he opens the 2013 campaign on Wed., April 3 in Toronto.
Jimenez, who is slated as the Indians No. 2 starter, went 4 2/3 innings and allowed the three solo-home runs while walking three and striking out five.
Alex Gordon led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo-blast, his eighth homer of the spring to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Jeff Francoeur and Elliott Johnson hit the other two solo-homers for the Royals.
The Indians record 11 hits on the afternoon but could only plate one run in the fourth inning, while the Royals recorded six hits, four of which came via solo-homers. LHP Nick Hagadone also allowed a solo-HR in the eighth inning. Jarrod Dyson added an RBI-single in the eighth inning too.
Ubaldo Jimenez gave up just three hits on Friday afternoon but they all happened to be solo-homers as the Royals topped the Tribe 5-1.
Justin Masterson will be the Indians Opening Day starter April 2 in Toronto, but Jimenez will pitch the middle-game of the series against the Blue Jays the next day and is also scheduled to start the Tribe’s home opener on Monday, April 8 against the New York Yankees.
The Indians final spring training game of 2013 is slated for Saturday, March 30, against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. First pitch is set for 3:05 pm ET.
Friday’s loss dropped the Tribe’s Cactus League record to 16-16-2 while the Royals improved to 25-7-2.
- Nick Camino