Jones' jolts help O's finish first half on high note

After driving in five, center fielder fifth on Baltimore's all-time RBI list with 770

July 9th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Orioles center fielder was locked in at the plate in his final game before the All-Star break.
Jones jacked two no-doubters to power the O's past the Twins, 11-5, on Sunday at Target Field. Behind Jones' bat, Baltimore split the four-game set after dropping the first five meetings with Minnesota in 2017. It marked Jones' 11th career multi-homer game and his first this season.
"It's always a good thing to go into a break with a win," Jones said. "Last two games, we have played some really good baseball. We have a few days off, so hopefully we can mentally put behind us the last two months. Come out second half, blazing saddles."
Jones started the afternoon off with a three-run blast in the top of the first. He belted a first-pitch slider from Twins righty , which went an estimated 452 feet at 105.8 mph, per Statcast™. It was his longest homer of the season and second longest since Statcast™ began tracking home runs at the start of 2015. His longest (453 feet) big fly came against on May 10, 2016, also at Target Field.
It was the second consecutive day the team had delivered a moonshot, after clubbed one 462 feet on Saturday.

As a team, Baltimore now has eight homers that have traveled an estimated 450-plus feet. That mark paces all of baseball, as the Yankees have the next closest count with six such blasts.
"Our style is the pitcher attacks the zone, our defense plays well behind them and we hit some long balls," Jones said. "This series, we have been able to do a few of those things."
But Jones wasn't done there.
After Minnesota trimmed the deficit to one run, Jones sent a solo shot to left that came off the bat in a hurry. According to Statcast™, his solo homer had an exit velocity of 110.9 mph, which was his hardest hit home run of 2017.
In fact, the only other homer Jones has hit harder -- dating back to the start of 2015 -- came on Sept. 4 of that year against Toronto. Per Statcast™, that home run had an exit velocity of 112.2 mph. Of his 71 homers tracked by Statcast™, Jones has three homers hit at least 110 mph.
"I thought our guys had a lot of want today. They jumped out early and wanted to end on a good note," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The runs that were there for us to score, we took advantage of it."
Jones drove in five runs, matching his career high. He now moves up to fifth place on the club's all-time leaderboard with 770 RBIs. It snapped an 11-game RBI drought for Jones.
It was a welcome sign for a club gearing up for a second-half run in a competitive division.
"[We need to be] ready to come out and attack this AL East, because it's not going to get any easier," Jones said. "All the guys understand that, so we will do what we have to do."