Matthew Taylor: Will Adam Jones ever homer against Seattle, his former team?

Adam Jones has seven hits in 10 at-bats in the past two games against the Mariners. With four singles, two doubles and a triple, he’s nearly hit for the cycle in this series. All that’s missing is a home run, which should come as no surprise.

Jones has never homered in 29 games versus the Mariners, who made him a first-round draft pick in 2003. It’s a quirky outlier among Jones’ career numbers. He has homered at least once against every other team that he’s faced more than six times. So Jones typically goes deep - at least once - against teams with whom he’s familiar. Other than, of course, the Mariners.

Aside from the Mariners, there are seven teams Jones has played against without hitting a home run - the Orioles, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Mets, Phillies, and Pirates. He has appeared in a combined 26 games against those seven teams, or three less than the number of games he’s played against Seattle.

Jones’ .345 slugging percentage against Seattle headed into Wednesday ‘s game was tied for his third-worst total against any team. Only his slugging percentages against the Mets and Cubs are lower.

If anything, Jones has proven he can get the job done against the Mariners without power.

He tends to hit in bunches against his former team. Wednesday’s game was the sixth time as an Oriole that he has had three or more hits in a game against the Mariners. He’s done so twice per season against the Mariners every year of his O’s career except 2009.

Joneshas eight doubles against them, his fourth-highest total against any team, and he’s scored 13 runs. And you’ll remember that last season he won a game against Seattle with a two-out, walk-off bunt single. Who needs power when you’ve got cunning?

On Thursday, Jones will have his final shot at completing the series cycle against the Mariners. Doing so will require hitting his first career home run against Seattle, which would also be his first home run against probable starter Jason Vargas. Jones has struck out against Vargas three times in 12 at-bats while recording two hits. Both were singles.

Matthew Taylor blogs about the Orioles at Roar from 34. His ruminations about the Birds will appear this week as part of’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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