Entering Wednesday night’s game against the Tampa Bays Rays, Adam Jones was struggling at the plate. The Baltimore Orioles’ superstar center fielder was hitting just .252 with only one home run and 15 RBIs. To make matters worse was the fact that he had really struggled as of late. Prior to tonight’s game, Jones had driven in only three runs while gathering six hits in 37 at-bats in nine games. Not great.
However, against Cesar Ramos, Jones looked like his old self. He blasted a pair of solo home runs to dead-center field in two at-bats against Ramos. In true Jones fashion he only saw two pitches from Ramos, both of which ended up as homers. In the process, Jones carried the offense, something he’s going to have to do at times this season.
Collectively, the Baltimore offense struggled but their leader picked them up (with the help of Jonathan Schoop). That’s what the Orioles need Jones to do – carry the offense. Without Chris Davis in the lineup and with Matt Wieters nursing an injury, he has to take the pressure off of Nelson Cruz, who’s having a great year thus far.
Adam Jones is too good of a hitter to have kept slumping. Baltimore knew that, but the Orioles were hoping that it would be sooner rather than later and, judging by the way he destroyed the baseball on Wednesday night, I think it’s safe to say Jones is back.
As the bubble-gum-blowing All-Star would say himself: stay hungry for offensive production, it’s coming. Well, he might not say that, but he would say “stay hungry.”
That’s exactly what the Orioles need to do to stay atop the AL East, stay hungry.