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Jones' hitting streak snapped

SEATTLE -- Rookie center fielder James Jones saw his 14-game hitting streak snapped Sunday in a tough way as he laced a hard shot up the middle in his final at-bat in the ninth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Astros, only to see the ball ricochet off the foot of pitcher Dallas Keuchel right to Houston's first baseman.

Jones could only shake his head and smile on Monday after enduring his first hitless start since being promoted to the Majors on May 5 with his 0-for-4 day. The 25-year-old set a club record by posting at least one hit in his first 15 MLB starts, breaking the record of 10 set by Edgar Martinez in 1987.

Jones insisted all along that he wasn't worried about either of those streaks, but was just trying to help his team win. He echoed that again when looking back at the tough way his string ended.

"I was just hoping I'd get on base to start off a good inning," he said. "I hit it solid, it just didn't go our way. But he pitched a great game. You can't take that away from him."

The hit streak certainly helped Jones' comfort level in his initial weeks with the Mariners, as he's stepped right into an everyday role as the club's starting center fielder and leadoff man.

"It definitely gives me confidence," Jones said. "I feel like I belong here, if I can be productive like that. I just want to keep on keeping on, coming with that same intensity. That's all I can keep doing. I'm definitely happy. I know there'll be struggles and times when things don't go my way, but I'm just going along with it and trying to do my best."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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