Tagged: Adam Jones

Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones captains a power surge

Adam Jones was only the first member of the Baltimore Orioles to go yard last night in Oakland. It turned out there were others. In fact, it turned out that the Birds smacked two sets of back-to-back homers in one of the most cavernous ballparks in the league. And that was the key to winning last night’s series opener in Oakland.

The Orioles also get an effort above-and-beyond what Wade Miley is normally capable of turning in. Miley’s line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 3 BB, 7 K. Miley recorded outs, and stayed out of full and deeper counts. Normally he gets a boatload of those and turns in five innings – win or lose. Last night he obviously was able to go deeper.

The O’s took an early lead in the first inning on a Machado RBI-groundout, however Lowrie’s sac fly-RBI in the last of the first tied the game at one. But that’s as close as Oakland would ever be. In the fourth Jones smacked a solo homer, and suddenly the O’s led once again.

But the Orioles weren’t done there. Trey Mancini came up to bat behind Jones, and promptly smacked a second homer – in back-to-back fashion. Suddenly the O’s had a two-run lead in Oakland, which again is one of the biggest ballparks in baseball.

And the Orioles decided to pull the back-to-back homers deal once again in the sixth inning. Mancini was involved in it once again, however this time he started it. Immediately following Mancini’s second solo homer of the game, Mark Trumbo hit one of his own. And the O’s led, 5-1.

But while the homer parade was over at that point, Jones himself wasn’t quite done. He would add an RBI-double in the seventh to run the score to 6-1. Lowrie’s RBI-double one inning later would bring Oakland to within 6-2, however they weren’t getting any closer than that.

The Orioles felt like they let an opportunity go by the wayside to win a series in Anaheim, so this was a good way to get that taste out of their mouths. It also successfully opened a series in a ballpark that hasn’t always been kind to the O’s. Yet they not only managed to win, but they did it playing their power game.

The series continues this evening at the Oakland Coliseum. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Paul Blackburn. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Power rules the yard once again

It’s tough to put a finger on the fact that the Baltimore Orioles have been so streaky this year, and why. For nearly a month-and-a-half it seemed that they could do nothing right. It’s almost a miracle that they didn’t get no-hit in that span. Yet this week they’ve managed to turn it on and all but bludgeon Texas into oblivion.

Wade Miley was unable to continue the Orioles’ streak of quality starts. In fact he turned in what comes across as a typical outing for him. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K. He gave up an RBI-single to Beltre in the first inning, and an RBI-double to Gomez in the second. So Texas actually did lead for part of the game.

But Oriole bats battled back, staying hot. Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo homer in the last of the fourth to cut the lead in half. Yet, Texas actually did put up a fight in this game, because before the Orioles could get him out of the game Miley gave up a three-run homer to Napoli. So…was that the death blow in this game for the O’s?

A week ago it might well have been. 5-1 would have been insurmountable. Heck, 1-0 was almost insurmountable a week ago. (I know that it was the all-star break a week ago, but work with me,) But the Orioles battled back – and right away, at that.

Adam Jones, “The Captain,” led the charge. He smacked a two-run homer in the last of the fifth to bring the birds to within 5-3. That was followed by a solo shot by Mark Trumbo later in the inning, cutting the Texas lead to one at 5-4. Suddenly it was a one-run game, which is what it was prior to Napoli’s three-run homer.

And with that, a Joey Rickard RBI-single in the sixth tied the game up. And the O’s all but immediately took the lead on an RBI-single by none other than Jones, followed by a two-RBI single by Schoop. Tack on a Davis solo homer in the seventh, and the O’s had a pretty good night at the plate.

Texas did threaten against Britton in the ninth, netting two runs on a two-RBI single by Choo. However that was the only damage done, and the O’s took game four, 9-7. It was a four-game sweep of Texas, which is a tough thing to do. As I said, it’s amazing how streaky this team has been, but the fact is that they rode lows for a long time. Now they’re riding a high that they hope continues.

The Houston Astros now come to town for a three-game set over the weekend at Camden Yards. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start tonight for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Mike Fiers. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Pitching and The Captain rock the yard

You can throw Kevin Gausman into the litany of Baltimore Orioles’ starters who have thrown quality starts this week. The Birds now have a three-game winning streak, after three quality starts by three different pitchers. How quickly things can change. Gausman’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K.

But we’ve also seen a re-awakening of Oriole bats in this week’s series against Texas, and last night it was “The Captain,” Adam Jones who seemed to take the lead. Jones led the game off with a solo homer for the Orioles, who never looked back. All in all, he finished the day 3-for-5, with that homer and two RBI.

Jones also got on base in the third inning, and he found his way home as a result of Jonathan Schoop‘s two-RBI double. The lone run that Gausman gave up was a solo homer to Gallo in the fifth inning, however neither he nor the rest of the O’s let that get to them. They shut down Texas’ bats in the remainder of the inning and minimized the damage.

The O’s held that 3-1 lead through the seventh, when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Tejada reached on a fielding error when he popped up a ball in the infield only to have the catcher misplay it. Adam Jones would then come back to the plate, and he smacked an RBI-single. Machado and Schoop each then blooped balls into shallow left field, which gave the O’s a 7-1 lead.

It’s important to note that runs scored on all four of those above-mentioned plays. However the bases remained loaded. The Orioles kind of did to Texas in that seventh inning what so many other teams seem to be able to do to the O’s – death by a thousand paper cuts. Schoop’s RBI-single was so softly hit it would have made the 2014 Kansas City Royals blush. But them’s the breaks.

Trey Mancini had seemingly seen enough of the “piece mealing runs together parade,” and he delivered a bases-clearing triple which put the Birds ahead 10-1. Texas would get one back on a solo homer in the ninth, but the Orioles closed out a 10-2 win. This is the second consecutive night where the O’s have put up crooked numbers against Texas.

This doesn’t mean that the Orioles have been “cured” of their ills. There are a couple of different ways to look at it. Texas appears to be going through what the Orioles have gone through at times (and very recently), which is not being able to get the bat on the ball or get on base. The O’s have also run into some buzz-saw type pitching at times. Texas hasn’t really shown that luxury thus far in the series.

But also keep in mind that baseball is based on failure. If the pitcher looks good, part of that is because the opposing hitters failed. And the same is true in reverse. So it goes both ways. I suspect that the Chicago series was a nadir of sorts for this Orioles team. That’s not to say that it’ll be smooth sailing the rest of the way, but they’ve been able to turn the tables a bit in this Texas series.

The series concludes this evening at Camden Yards. Wade Miley will try to become the fourth consecutive Oriole starter to pitch a quality start, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Cole Hamels. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles ride Adam Jones’ bat into the break

While the past two months have been trying for the Baltimore Orioles and Adam Jones, they finished the first half strong. In the wake of Saturday’s victory, they decided to go a step further and dismantled Minnesota in the series finale. While the Birds go into the all-star break now two games under .500, splitting that series in the Twin Cities gives them just a bit of wind in their sails.

Ubaldo Jimenez put the Orioles in a spot to win the game yesterday, really only struggling in one inning. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 3 K. But Jimenez had the lead before even taking their field, as Jones smacked a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to put the O’s ahead to stay. ne inning later an RBI-double by Joseph and an RBI-single by Smith would run the score to 5-0 early on.

However Minnesota’s a team that can bleed you by paper cuts. A small in here or there is seemingly all they need. Jimenez loaded the bases in the last of the second, and walked Dozier to bring Minnesota’s first run to the plate. Grossman would follow with a two-RBI single, and then Kepler’s RBI-double would bring Minnesota to within one at 5-4.

Even though Jimenez got out of the inning with the lead, I suspect that most people probably felt Minnesota had the Orioles right where they wanted them at that moment. Jimenez was obviously on the ropes, and while the Orioles’ offense had been good to that point they had probably run their course for the day – right?

The fact that the Orioles themselves didn’t take that attitude is a good sign. They kept on fighting. Jones added a second homer, this one of the solo variety, in the fifth inning. Caleb Joseph would tag on a two-RBI single later in the inning to run the score to 8-4, and Ruben Tejada‘s RBI-double sent it to 9-4.

That little four-run splurge in the fourth inning was all the reminder the Birds needed of the game earlier in the season against Minnesota at Camden Yards where they surredered a seven-run lead. So they kept the pressure on and kept scoring. That’s not to say they ran up the score, because they weren’t trying to manufacture runs per se, but the hits just kept on coming.

Manny Machado added an RBI-single in the eighth, and Jones another as well on a sac fly-RBI. Minnesota would tack one on as well on a Polanco ground out, running the final to 11-5. Needless to say, the first half was far from perfect. But it ended on a positive note for the Orioles.

This is an Oriole team that’s had a tough tie taking momentum from a win and playing it forward. The fact that they’re off until Friday doesn’t make it an easier. However one has to hope and believe that the rest will do them good. And on the other end they’ll find a Chicago Cubs team that’s struggling even more. There are problems in the Oriole rotation, however Chicago gave up ten runs in the first inning yesterday!

Baltimore Orioles hold on to beat Boston

The Baltimore Orioles had a good night last night, although it got a bit more interesting than it should have. First off, they got a solid outing by starter Wade Miley, who put the Bird in a position to win. Miley’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K. You’re going to be tough to beat when you get an effort like that out of your starter; personally I thought it was Miley’s best outing as an Oriole.

Oriole bats remained just as alive as they were the previous night against New York, giving the O’s a big lead. Mark Trumbo got things going in the last of the first with a two-run homer, giving the Birds a 2-0 lead. For a split second however, it appeared that Boston was going to make a game of it early on, as Vazquez’s RBI-single cut the lead in half at 2-1.

However Chris Davis would smack a solo shot in the fourth, and Adam Jones added another in the last of the sixth. Boston asked for a replay review on that homer thinking that there was fan interference, however the call was upheld. It was a weak argument to begin with in my personal view, because there didn’t appear to be any fan interference.

Jonathan Schoop‘s three-run homer broke the game wide open later in that sixth inning, and the O’s held a 7-1 lead. The issue of course was that they still had to record 27 outs in total to win the game. And Boston wasn’t going quietly.

Vazquez added a second RBI-single in the top of the ninth, cutting the lead to 7-2. However there were two outs, so that didn’t seem like a huge issue. Boston would proceed to put runners at the corners, bringing Bradley to the plate. Sure enough, he smacked a three-run homer – all of this against Mike Wright.

The O’s brought in Donnie Hart after that to record the final out, which he did. The final score of 7-5 was obviously not indicative of the ebb and flow of the game per se, as the O’s took it to Boston all game long. However the fact is that ebb and flow mean little while the game’s still going on. It’s not over until you record that 27th out.

Ultimately, the O’s took game one of a very important four-game set. So that’s a good thing. They just didn’t want to make it as interesting as it ended up being in the end.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Alec Asher gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Rick Porcello. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Avian power surge

The Baltimore Orioles were in an offensive funk prior to Adam Jones going down for a few days; however apparently all it took for them to get out of it was for “the Captain” to come back. The O’s exploded in last night’s series finale against New York for ten runs, which clinched a series victory. As I’ve been saying, the lack of runs and power is a phase; all teams go through it from time to time. For the Orioles’ sake, hopefully they’re finished with it now.

Kevin Gausman had his struggles in this game, however ironically most of them came after the O’s had put up several runs in the previous inning. Gausman’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 earned) 5 BB, 4 K. Obviously he stuck around long enough to qualify for a much-needed win, pitching the necessary five innings.

The Birds took a 1-0 lead in the last of the third when Jones smacked an RBI-double to center. That also left runners at the corners which allowed Trumbo to produce a two-RBI double later in the inning. And for good measure, Chris Davis‘ RBI-single ran the Orioles’ lead to 4-0.

New York would get one back in the fourth on a force out at first base which scored a run, however the O’s were far from finished. With two runners on in the last of the fourth inning Adam Jones ceremoniously announced his return, and perhaps that of the Orioles in general. His three-run homer broke the game open and gave th Orioles a 7-1 lead.

However that lead at times seemed somewhat precarious. Hicks would smack an RBI-double in the fifth for New York, and Holliday an RBI-single. Luckily for the Orioles, they were able to pitch out of that, as NY left the bases loaded. But one swing could have changed the scope of the game. Luckily for the O’s, that never happened.

In fact, the Birds extended the lead in the later innings. Chris Davis seemingly broke out of his funk with a two-run homer in the seventh, and Jones added another run on an RBI-single in the last of the eighth (after New York came to within 9-4 on a Gardener RBI-groundout in the top of the inning). Offensive woes are nothing that a ten-run game won’t cure I suppose.

Perhaps very quietly this series, the Orioles’ bullpen started to function as it was meant to do once again. In the two Orioles’ wins, we saw O’Day shut New York down in the eighth, and Brach in the ninth. Obviously they’re still missing Britton, but the fact remains that the ‘pen has gotten stronger again. Obviously if they want it to remain that way they’re going to need starters to go deeper than 5.1 innings, however I think the O’s will take that in a winning effort as opposed to Gausman’s last start where he pitched seven strong innings and lost.

The O’s now open a big four-game set with Boston at home. Wade Miley gets the start this evening for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Where does Adam Jones rank?

Adam Jones is by far the leader of the Baltimore Orioles, as well as the captain. Neither of those titles are official, however they both belong to him. In fact, Jones is probably the first member of the Orioles to reach the type of status he has since Cal Ripken Jr.

However it’s always interesting to put players like Jones up against the likes of guys like Ripken, or Brooks Robinson among others. Baltimore’s a city that’s seen it’s share of beloved athletes – same as most cities. I’ve already named two others from the Orioles, but you can also throw in Jim PalmerFrank Robinson, and Eddie Murray, along with Ray Lewis, Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, Johh Mackey, and of course the great Johnny Unitas.

And mind you, there are plenty of other athletes that I didn’t name who could be on that list of “beloved” in Baltimore. I might also hesitate to throw in a few Maryland Terrapins such as Juan Dixon, Len Bias, etc. Maybe even Coach Gary Williams or the old Left Hander (Charles “Lefty” Drisell). Point being that it’s a very relative list – heck throw Joe Flacco on there if you want. But I think I got most of the basics.

So again, where does Jones rank on this list? The answer is that it’s really tough to say. Of all the old Orioles and Colts/Ravens I named above, they all had something in common: a world championship. It’s worth mentioning of course that while Unitas did win a Super Bowl later as a part-time starter (sharing time with Earl Morall due to an injury), he quarterbacked in the 1958 title game – the greatest game ever played.

Jim Palmer won three World Series’ with the Orioles, Frank and Brooks won two, and Cal and Eddie one. Obviously to this point, Jones doesn’t have a championship to his name. But that doesn’t make him any less of a player.

Again, Adam Jones is the leader of this team. He kind of took over the role that Ray Lewis played in terms of being the star player in town. That’s not to say that there aren’t other Orioles or Ravens who aren’t great players and great ambassadors for the city. But when Jones talks people listen.

If we’re talking pure Baltimore sports “royalty,” I’d have to put the likes of Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr, Johnny Unitas, and Ray Lewis in categories of their own. You could make a case for any of the men I’ve listed above, but notice the term I used. There’s a difference between “beloved player,” and “Baltimore sports royalty.”

But I would put Jones in the same category with the Eddie Murrays, Raymond Berrys, Ray Lewis’, and Jim Palmers of the world. Keep in mind that in saying that, all of those men are either already hall of famers, or in Lewis’ case will be a hall of famer. Will Jones be a hall of famer? Win a World Series and I think he might have a case. But the fact remains that he’s beloved in the city, and he’ll always be fondly remembered in the Baltimore sorts landscape.

The O’s head to Houston tonight for a three-game set. Kevin Gausman will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Joe Musgrove. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.