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Jones' 5-RBI return is #ASGWorthy for O's

After missing 4 straight games, star sets tone
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- After being scratched from the lineup for the fourth straight game on Tuesday, it became a concern that Adam Jones could be sent to the disabled list with left hip and ankle injuries. But after Wednesday's performance in his first game back, the answer was clear: He is perfectly fine.

Jones went 3-for-5 with a season-high five RBIs and two runs scored, leading the Orioles to a 10-4 victory and a series win over the Yankees.

Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- After being scratched from the lineup for the fourth straight game on Tuesday, it became a concern that Adam Jones could be sent to the disabled list with left hip and ankle injuries. But after Wednesday's performance in his first game back, the answer was clear: He is perfectly fine.

Jones went 3-for-5 with a season-high five RBIs and two runs scored, leading the Orioles to a 10-4 victory and a series win over the Yankees.

Full Game Coverage

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Jones and other #ASGWorthy players

"It felt fine," Jones said of his return. "It felt good. I think it was good that we got the series win. We haven't been playing as well of late. The last three weeks haven't been too fun. But it was a good series win. Glad I was able to come back out there, add some more energy, and the guys followed suit."

Jones was hitless in his previous 15 at-bats when he stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and one out in the third inning. The first pitch from Masahiro Tanaka was an 85-mph slider over the middle of the plate that Jones hammered 109 mph off the center-field wall to bring home the first run of the game on a stand-up double.

Video: NYY@BAL: Jones drives an RBI double to left-center

"Adam is always on," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The way he approaches competition, he doesn't have a day like, 'What's wrong with Adam today?' You don't have to worry about the mood. He's got things in life that affect you emotionally and mentally, but when they get through playing that song, he's always firing."

Jones -- whose average exit velocity is 87.2 mph, according to Statcast™ -- recorded his hardest-hit ball of the season with the 109-mph double. The hit was also his 11th barreled ball of the season, according to Statcast™.

Jones came up to the plate with two runners on again in the fourth inning. Just like in his previous at-bat, Jones was first-pitch swinging, and he connected on a 93-mph sinker in almost the same location. This time, he launched the ball 12 degrees higher and 10 feet farther for a three-run blast, adding yet another barreled ball on the night.

Video: NYY@BAL: Jones cranks three-run homer to right-center

In the eighth, Seth Smith had a two-out single to allow Jones to pick up his 1,500th career hit as an Oriole with an RBI single to the shortstop.

"I was put in a situation by Seth Smith. He got a single and then he got a walk to allow me to come up with men in scoring position," Jones said of the leadoff man, who drew a two-out walk before his homer in the fourth. "So, you eliminate those, I'm not coming up in that situation. So, thank Seth Smith for giving me an opportunity three times actually; the last inning also, he battled and battled and battled with two outs to get me another at-bat.

Video: NYY@BAL: Jones collects 1,500th hit as Oriole in 8th

"So, it's just feeding off of the guy in front of you. He had some great at-bats. It was just, like I said, fun having guys on base. That's where you're making money."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones