Adam Jones is still finding ways to haunt his former team.
Jones had three hits, including the go-ahead homer into the
upper deck in the eighth inning and a highlight-reel catch against
the wall in center field, leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 2-1
victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
”I had a 1-0 pitch to drive and I just was under the ball and I
fouled it off. I felt that I was late on it,” Jones said. ”I just
told myself, ‘Get on top of the ball, stay on top of the ball,’ and
he missed down and in and I didn’t.”
Jones turned on a sinker from Jamey Wright (1-2) on the inside
corner of the plate and hit a rocket into the second level seating
in left field to give Baltimore the lead.
”I threw a sinker that didn’t sink, at all, just flattened
out,” Wright said. ”Inside, right into his barrel. I couldn’t
have put it on a tee any better for him.”
As impressive as the homer was, Jones’ catch in the fourth
inning was even better.
Miguel Olivo crushed a line drive to deep center off Orioles
starter Brian Matusz. Jones turned and ran at full speed toward the
wall and hauled in the shot with an over-the-shoulder grab as he
jumped into the padded wall.
”The ball was crushed,” Jones said. ”I just ran and ran and
just caught the ball. That’s something that’s really hard to replay
in my mind right now. I remember doing it but it’s hard to put it
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it was one of the better
catches he’s seen all year.
”He put on an all-around show today,” Showalter said. ”And
he’ll go home ticked off about not throwing a guy out at the plate.
He’s having a special year.”
The catch was a big lift for Matusz, who was making his season
debut after spending the first two months on the disabled list.
”I thought off the bat that was gone,” Matusz said. ”(Jones)
made a great ply right there. It was awesome. It was a good
momentum thing because it put a smile on my face and it helped me
kind of relax a little bit and have fun.”
Matusz lasted 5 2-3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and
striking out three.
”As the game went on I was able to kind of feel myself, and get
a good feel, to get myself back on track,” Matusz said. ”Not
trying to think about mechanics at all, just feeling my groove and
slow it down a bit and not be so jumpy. That’s why the game went
better for me.”
Jim Johnson (4-1) allowed one hit while retiring four batters to
pick up the victory, and Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth inning to
earn his ninth save of the season.
Matusz retired 10 straight batters in the middle innings with
Pineda retiring 11 of 12 before running into some trouble in the
J.J. Hardy picked up a one-out broken bat single and Pineda
walked his only batter of the game, Mark Reynolds, putting a runner
in scoring position for the first time all game. Pineda buckled
down and struck out Robert Andino with a 96-mph fastball to end the
Hardy gave Baltimore an early lead when he hit a 1-2 slider from
Pineda into the Orioles bullpen over the left field wall. It was
his second home run off Pineda this season.
”In Baltimore, I threw a fastball up and he homers,” Pineda
said. ”Today I threw down and he adjusted for my slider and
Olivo led off the bottom of the second with a single to left and
advanced to second on a flyout from Franklin Gutierrez. Jack Wilson
came up with a two-out RBI single to center.
Olivo lowered a shoulder into catcher Matt Wieters, who was
blocking the plate with his left leg. Wieters whiffed and the ball
went to the backstop as Olivo bowled over Wieters. Olivo had to go
back to touch the plate as the run tied the game at 1-1.
Notes: Matusz was activated from the DL before the game. Utility
man Jake Fox was designated for assignment to make roster space.
… Nick Markakis started at 1B for the first time. He hadn’t
played the position since high school. … RF Ichiro Suzuki served
as the DH for the second time this season. Mariners manager Eric
Wedge said he wanted to get Suzuki off his feet for the day. … SS
Brendan Ryan had his career-high 11-game hitting streak end. He was
0 for 4.