WASHINGTON (AP) Adam Jones is tired of the attention he gets when he misses a start.
Make that when he almost misses one.
With the rainout of Monday night’s scheduled series opener between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, a three-game set with playoff implications, Jones may be able to recover from back spasms in time to play Tuesday.
But after the five-time All-Star center fielder was originally scratched by manager Buck Showalter, he insisted his absence from the lineup wasn’t a big deal.
”I’m human, though,” Jones said. ”Let me have a day off without it being a story. It’s not a story.”
Showalter expected Jones to be able to play Tuesday for the Orioles, who began Monday 5 1/2 games out of the second AL wild card. Washington was six games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets.
For the club where Cal Ripken played all of his major league-record 2,632 consecutive games, Jones had been the Orioles’ recent model of durability, missing only six games between 2012-14.
”If Adam could play, he’d play,” Showalter said. ”It’s my decision but I’m not going to run him out there.”
This year, though, Jones has missed 13 games while dealing with minor ankle and shoulder injuries. He’s currently batting .269 with 27 homers and 82 RBIs.
”When other players get days off around the league, I don’t see them being talked to in every interview,” Jones said. ”There’s nothing wrong with that anymore.”
Monday’s game was pushed back to Thursday at 4:05 p.m., a mutual off day.
The three-game series now opens Tuesday night, with Monday’s scheduled starters pushed back. Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9) will face Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez (11-7).
Chris Tillman will start Wednesday and Tyler Wilson will start Thursday for Baltimore. The Nationals have not announced their probables for the rest of the series.
”We can set it up depending on everybody’s health of course and how everybody’s feeling and their off days and regular rest and all of that,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said of his rotation. ”We’ll do that tonight.”
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder) expects to throw a simulated game on Wednesday and hopes to make two starts before the close of the season.
Nationals: INF Ryan Zimmerman (left oblique strain) has missed 10 games and has not swung a bat since. ”Next couple of days hopefully,” Williams said. . Danny Espinosa (right hamstring strain) will have an MRI Tuesday.
Orioles: Jimenez (4.31 ERA) will try to improve to 3-0 in September.
Nationals: Gonzalez has allowed three earned runs over his last three starts (18 1-3 IP).