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Jones supplements big hit with outstanding D

With run-saving diving catch already in books, O's outfielder delivers decisive single
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to assess each player's output in a game not just by RBIs, but a cumulative score that also includes runs taken away in the field. By both accounts, Adam Jones had a fantastic Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

It was Jones who punched a ball into right field in the eighth inning for two decisive RBIs in the 4-3 series-opening win over the Rays. He also robbed Kevin Kiermaier on a fading liner, making a diving grab to strand a pair of fourth-inning baserunners.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to assess each player's output in a game not just by RBIs, but a cumulative score that also includes runs taken away in the field. By both accounts, Adam Jones had a fantastic Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

It was Jones who punched a ball into right field in the eighth inning for two decisive RBIs in the 4-3 series-opening win over the Rays. He also robbed Kevin Kiermaier on a fading liner, making a diving grab to strand a pair of fourth-inning baserunners.

View Full Game Coverage

"The play he made coming in on a ball, because he plays shallower than most people play, he can make that play," said Showalter. "And he's fearless going back."

Video: BAL@TB: Jones lays out to steal hit, save run

After two-out RBI singles from pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger and Manny Machado, both off Rays reliever Alex Colome, Chris Davis was intentionally walked to load the bases for Jones. He responded by sending Colome's first pitch, a 94-mph fastball, into right field for the decisive two-run single.

"'Go up to the plate and get yourself a pitch to hit,'" Jones said of his mindset as he dug in. "Somebody's going to succeed, one of the two. Good thing it was me today."

Jones has 80 RBIs on the season and chased down the final out of the game, nabbing John Jaso's fly ball at the warning track.

"He gets to a lot of balls other guys wouldn't get to," said right-hander Darren O'Day, who watched Jones seal the game and his save. "He takes away a lot of singles. The way pitchers here feel, if a guy hits a ball to the wall, he deserves to get a hit. Adam plays shallow, takes away a lot of singles and he's comfortable going back on a ball as he showed you tonight. He covers a lot of field and it's a great comfort to know when he's out there."

Video: BAL@TB: O'Day gets flyout to end game, earns save

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones