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Jones starting to break out of his shell in Majors

Rookie first baseman homered vs. Marlins, is hitting .364 over his last seven games
MLB.com

MIAMI -- Ryder Jones' learning curve may not be as steep as it first looked earlier this season if his performance in the Giants'9-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday at Marlins Park is any indication.

Jones smacked a fifth-inning double to center and scored on Madison Bumgarner's single off the wall, before he capped his night with his second career home run in the eighth -- a 374-foot shot just inside the right-field foul pole. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

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MIAMI -- Ryder Jones' learning curve may not be as steep as it first looked earlier this season if his performance in the Giants'9-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday at Marlins Park is any indication.

Jones smacked a fifth-inning double to center and scored on Madison Bumgarner's single off the wall, before he capped his night with his second career home run in the eighth -- a 374-foot shot just inside the right-field foul pole. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

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"We need somebody to help us out here in that lineup and get hot. And tonight, he did," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Lately, Jones has picked up the slack. The rookie is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with four extra-base hits over his last seven games.

It's a far cry from his first taste of Major League pitching this year.

The Giants' 14th-ranked prospect per MLBPipeline.com had tallied just three hits through his first 36 at-bats, good for an .083 line. But the left-hander has turned up the heat since San Francisco's series against the Cubs last week.

Video: CHC@SF: Jones drills his first Major League home run

He's also flashing the power -- as evidenced by his two long balls this month -- that he showcased in the Minors. Jones smacked 13 homers and hit .312 in 64 games at Triple-A Sacramento this year.

One reason Jones' power threat is a welcome addition to the lineup is the hole left by Brandon Belt. The first baseman has been sidelined since he was hit by a pitch in the helmet earlier this month.

Belt is still resting at home and will be evaluated again by doctors on Wednesday, but it may be a while before the Giants receive their main power threat. His 18 homers lead the team, one that ranks last overall in the Majors with 96 homers.

That's why glimpses of Jones like Bochy saw Tuesday night are so important.

"Hopefully he stays that way or somebody else does a good job of picking us up the next day, the following day and so on," Bochy said.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.

San Francisco Giants, Ryder Jones