BALTIMORE -- The Rays had already scored two runs in the third inning in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader, and they were threatening to blow the game open with the bases loaded and two down.Jaff Decker lined a Chris Tillman pitch toward the gap in right-center that looked like it
BALTIMORE -- The Rays had already scored two runs in the third inning in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader, and they were threatening to blow the game open with the bases loaded and two down.
Jaff Decker lined a Chris Tillman pitch toward the gap in right-center that looked like it might clear the bases. But Orioles center fielder Adam Jones laid out at full extension to rob Decker of extra bases and keep the O's deficit at four runs. It proved to be game-altering as Baltimore would come back to win, 8-6.
• Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Jones and other #ASGWorthy players
"Huge play. It's like a double-play ball. That game can get away from you right there," manager Buck Showalter said. "Those are the type of split-second decisions these guys have to make at this level every night. But it's like I tell them all the time, 'You feel something, you've got to go for it. And if it doesn't work out, at least you don't wonder if I could have.'"
Jones wasn't done contributing to the Orioles' cause, though. He aided the comeback with his bat later in the game, starting with one out in the fifth inning when he hammered a 1-1 fastball on a line into the left-field seats to trim the deficit to 6-4. It was his 15th homer of the season.
Then in the seventh inning, he jumped on a 1-0 fastball to tie the game. Jones laced the pitch into right field to score Joey Rickard and later came around to score the go-ahead run on Chris Davis' soft liner into right.
Jones finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk, the home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. But it was the catch before he did anything with his bat that kept the Orioles in the game.
Jones trotted off the field after his inning-ending catch to a standing ovation from the crowd at Camden Yards. And when he got into the dugout, his starting pitcher had something to say.
"I told him, 'Thanks for picking me up,'" Tillman said. "That was an outstanding catch. I think that was a game-changer right there."
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.