Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six gritty innings to earn his 100th career win and added an RBI single as the Baltimore Orioles beat the host Washington Nationals, 4-1, last night in the rain-delayed opener of a series between teams fighting to remain in the playoff race.

The 31-year-old Jimenez (12-9) won his third straight decision for Baltimore, which began the night trailing three teams and six games back for the AL's second wild card.

The Nationals remained 61/2 games back of the Mets, who lost to Atlanta, in the NL East. But the Mets' magic number to clinch the division dropped to six. Bryce Harper set the Nationals record for walks, getting three free passes that upped his season total to 118.

Tigers' Rondon sent home

Tigers closer Bruce Rondon has been sent home by the team, according to manager Brad Ausmus, who cited the reliever's "effort level" as the reason.

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Ausmus declined to elaborate on the move, though the decision appears to have come after a bizarre appearance in Monday's game in which Rondon's fastball velocity was markedly lower than usual.

Ausmus declined to elaborate further on the decision, shutting down questions about the nature or the timing of the move.

"Other than saying that Al Avila and myself completely agreed on it, there will be no other details or comment," Ausmus said.