ST. PETERSBURG -- When the Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million contract this winter, these were the kind of matchups they had in mind. Baltimore, which expects to have catcher Matt Wieters back in the lineup as designated hitter Thursday night, will have a tough task in the series finale in facing Rays ace David Price.
And, true to form, Price is coming off an impressive seven-inning outing on Friday night in which the lefty said he wanted to go deeper. The ultra-competitive Price, who threw 118 pitches, is also a control freak, having accrued 55 strikeouts and just five walks in his first seven starts, which is the best strikeouts to walks ratio in the American League. It's second only to Tim Hudson in all of baseball.
"They've got a really good lineup, absolutely," Price said of an Orioles offense missing slugger Chris Davis. "There's not a team in the AL East that really has an easy lineup. ... There are no easy outs in the AL East."
You don't have to tell Jimenez that. The right-hander hasn't faced the Rays yet, but is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in four divisional games. That's the bad news. The goods news? Jimenez is coming off his best outing yet in Minnesota.
Eclipsing his season high in strikeouts before the fifth inning ended, Jimenez fanned 10 over an electric 7 1/3 scoreless innings en route to his first win for the O's, a 3-0 victory over the Twins that followed a miserable April.
Jimenez said he was definitely relieved by the outing, which followed a 6.59 ERA in the season's opening month.
"I was able to do what I was supposed to do and be able to get deep into the game and help out the team," Jimenez said.
"I have a better read on my mechanics, and I was able to locate and command the fastball and use my breaking ball in any count. [Catcher Matt] Wieters was calling it; he called a great game. Every pitch he called I threw, and I was able to execute."
Orioles: Wieters avoids DL
The Orioles received good news on catcher Matt Wieters' right elbow on Wednesday as the Gold Glove winner will avoid the disabled list and be able to hit while giving the injury a chance to calm down.
Wieters, who was the designated hitter for Tuesday's series opener against the Rays, flew to Pensacola, Fla., Wednesday morning and was examined by Dr. James Andrews. The diagnosis, which came on the heels of Monday's MRI, was that Wieters is dealing with some discomfort in the area and avoiding throwing will help alleviate that.
"Definitely [good news]," said Wieters, who rejoined the Orioles about 30 minutes prior to Wednesday's game, in which he was not starting. "Any time there's a positive outlook to where we definitely see getting back on the field sooner rather than later. You ultimately hope for, 'Hey, you're good to go,' but I think we've got to be smarter than that and make sure we let everything kind of heal and calm down before we push it again."
Rays: Happy no-decision
David Price received a no-decision last time out when he pitched seven innings against the Yankees Friday night (118 pitches) and left with a 4-2 lead. Subsequently, the Yankees tied the game before the Rays won 10-5 in 14 innings.
There aren't too many no-decisions that feel better than that one, are there?
"Game 162 maybe. A walk-off here against New York, CC and I both went eight then Reid hit a walk-off in the 10th or 11th. Obviously, we would have liked to have won that game in nine innings. But the way it happened, and the circumstances we had the prior three days, that win definitely felt really good."
• Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly Tuesday gave him his 468th RBI, tying him with Carlos Pena for third most in Rays history.
• Since 2008, the Rays have used only 21 different starting pitchers, fewest in the Major Leagues (Giants are second at 24). The Orioles have used 45 different starters during that same span -- the most in the Majors.
• O's slugger Chris Davis was out again before Wednesday's game doing some running and throwing as he continues to progress from a left oblique strain.
• Baltimore's Francisco Peguero (wrist) will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk on Friday. The O's have 20 days to add him after that.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.