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Jones' 3 hits in milestone game not enough

Center fielder has big night at plate in 1,500th game with Orioles
Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Adam Jones knows how to celebrate in style.

On Friday night, he became the eighth player in Orioles history to play in 1,500 games for the franchise, joining the likes of Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray and Mark Belanger. And he channeled some of those Orioles greats at the plate as he announced his entry to their ranks with a homer as part of a 3-for-4 night.

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OAKLAND -- Adam Jones knows how to celebrate in style.

On Friday night, he became the eighth player in Orioles history to play in 1,500 games for the franchise, joining the likes of Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray and Mark Belanger. And he channeled some of those Orioles greats at the plate as he announced his entry to their ranks with a homer as part of a 3-for-4 night.

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"You really can't put it into words," Jones said. "I've tried to, over the last couple of years, to put these accomplishments into words, but it's hard because I'm still going, I'm still fighting, I'm still playing for the next day. So until I'm done, I think that's just how I am -- just blessed and humbled by the opportunity."

Despite Jones' night to remember and a three-run rally in the sixth, the Orioles couldn't put the pieces together for the umpteenth time this season, as a pair of defensive miscues contributed to a 6-4 loss to the A's at the Coliseum, dropping Baltimore's record to 8-24.

The Orioles lost their 10th straight road contest and haven't won away from Camden Yards since an 8-7, 12-inning triumph at Yankee Stadium on April 8.

Friday marked Jones' fifth three-hit game of the season and was a welcome sign for the slumping center fielder, who was 2-for-25 with a pair of singles in the previous six games.

In the first, Jones perhaps channeled "Steady Eddie" Murray, one of Baltimore's most consistent power hitters, when he launched a solo homer to left-center off A's starter Daniel Mengden, his fifth of the season, to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead.

He followed that with a single up the middle in the third, and perhaps channeling Belanger, known for his bunting ability, Jones dropped a first-pitch bunt down the third-base line into a drawn-back infield for his third hit of the game in the sixth.

And through it all, Jones has perhaps channeled Ripken, the "Iron Man," in his consistency and longevity -- he has played at least 147 games in seven of his 10 seasons in Baltimore.

"It's a tribute to health, number one, and if I'm healthy, I'm able to do stuff," Jones said. "I guess the ability is availability, and all of my 11 years here, I've been available quite often. That's the blessing."

Jones' bunt single keyed a rally of five singles that plated three runs in the sixth, tying the game at 4 after the A's had taken a 4-1 lead in the first on back-to-back homers by Khris Davis and Matt Olson. The homers had made the Orioles pay for a costly error by second baseman Jace Peterson, who dropped the ball while trying to make the turn at second base on a potential double play.

Video: BAL@OAK: Joyce slides into second following an error

But the Orioles gave the lead back in the bottom of the sixth, when another defensive miscue -- a throwing error by Manny Machado -- set up a Jonathan Lucroy double and Jed Lowrie's go-ahead RBI single.

"With any team in the Major Leagues, when you give them 29, 30 outs, they're going to make you pay, no matter who the team is, the lineup," Jones said. "It's the Major Leagues. So I think we played a good game. Unfortunately, we made three errors, and that's three extra outs for them, and they're a big league team."

Video: BAL@OAK: Lowrie breaks the tie with an RBI single

After allowing the four tough-luck runs in the first, O's starter Andrew Cashner settled down, allowing only three more hits and no more runs before being pulled after 4 2/3 innings, giving the bullpen as much rest as he could after it was called upon for seven innings on Thursday. He struck out five and walked three.

Video: BAL@OAK: Cashner fans Piscotty to end the 1st

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A game of inches: They say that baseball is a game of inches, and that was painfully clear for the Orioles on Friday night. In addition to the errors by Peterson and Machado, two plays that were decided by a matter of inches might have led to a different outcome.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lowrie's go-ahead single was just out of the reach of a diving Chris Davis and also slipped under the glove of Peterson, who was shifted into shallow right-center field.

In the next half-inning, with runners in the corners and two outs, Davis skied a deep fly into left field that was inches away from caroming off the wall for extra bases, but A's left fielder Matt Joyce was able to make a leaping catch to end the threat.

Video: BAL@OAK: Joyce makes a superb catch at the wall

SOUND SMART
According to STATS, LLC., Jones became the seventh active player to reach 1,500 games with his current team, joining, in order, Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Joe Mauer (Twins), David Wright (Mets), Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) and Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox).

"Being able to be with one team for this long is extremely humbling and rare," Jones said. "Not many players in today's current state play with the same team for that long. It's been a blessing to build all the relationships I've built in Baltimore, all the friendships, all the community stuff I've been able to do."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Jones' first-inning homer traveled a Statcast-estimated 417 feet and left the bat at 107.7 mph, making the long ball Jones' hardest-hit of the 2018 season. It was his hardest-hit homer since July 9, 2017, when he hit a homer estimated at 110.9 mph off Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson.

HE SAID IT
"Congrats to La Máquina, Albert Pujols. Three thousand hits. I might not catch you, but that's an unbelievable feat. As a baseball fan, I want to say thank you for what you do for the game off the field, also, because not many people know what you do off the field. Congrats on 3,000, big guy." -- Jones, sending congratulations to Albert Pujols for 3,000 hits

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Jones came close to a season-high fourth hit in the seventh after he hit a sharp grounder up the middle, but A's shortstop Marcus Semien made a diving stop, and though his throw to first drew Olson off the bag, Olson was able to make a swipe tag on Jones for the out, which was upheld on replay review.

Video: BAL@OAK: Semien makes a nice play, Olson with the tag

UP NEXT
The Orioles have won only one of Kevin Gausman's last three starts, but it hasn't necessarily been his fault. In those three starts, he has allowed a combined five earned runs in 19 2/3 innings, including yielding one run to the Tigers in a 5 2/3 inning outing on Sunday. He takes the mound at 9:05 p.m. ET in Oakland against A's veteran Trevor Cahill.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones