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Jimenez still an option as a starter

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BALTIMORE -- Manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is still considered a starter, and the team hopes to keep him stretched out for the final month of the regular season.

Jimenez, who appeared in the bullpen for the first time since 2008 on Saturday, could get a few starts down the stretch if the O's secure a playoff spot early and want to rest guys -- and there's always the chance of an injury.

Right now, however, there are no starts scheduled for Jimenez.

"We will see what presents itself with work days and physical status," Showalter said. "Chris [Tillman] pitched the last two outings on extra rest. There's a reason for that. We will see how he feels in between."

Jimenez went four innings against the Cubs, allowing one run on three hits and a walk, and Showalter was encouraged that the righty came in on Tuesday as a potentially available relief option. Jimenez has gone 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 20 starts.

"If we see that we are covered [in the bullpen] we are going to continue to make him available to us as a starter, too," Showalter said. "The need could be there shortly."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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