Adam Jones nearly tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, but center fielder Austin Jackson made a leaping catch at the fence to take away a home run.
“I’ve done it before to people, so I know the feeling,” Jones said. “A hell of a play. He’s turned himself into a one of the best center fielders in the game. I’m a fan of his and I’ve watched him throughout the years. I’ve seen his progression at the major league level. He continues to excite people.”
Asked if he felt snakebit that he had two long fly balls that didn’t produce home runs - the first went for a double - Jones replied, “I think I’ll do a little more pushups tonight. I crushed both balls. Luck of the draw. It’s a game of inches and they were short on my side today.”
J.J. Hardy had the seventh multi-homer game of his career, and the third this season. He’s homered in four of the last six games, and he’s collected RBIs in eight straight games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history and the longest since Miguel Tejada had RBIs in nine consecutive games in April 2005.
The longest RBI streak in the majors this season belongs to Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez and San Diego’s Jason Bartlett (nine games).
Is this the best offensive stretch of Hardy’s career?
“Yeah, maybe,” he said. “I feel like in ‘07 I got off to a start like this and then ‘08 I kind of finished like this. This year is kind of, other than the month that I missed due to injury, has been pretty consistent, I think.
“I feel like I’m having a pretty good idea up there right now. I feel like I’m not necessarily a guess hitter, but in the back of my mind, I feel like I know what they’re trying to do. I think it was early July that I really scuffled. I think it started in Atlanta with (Tim) Hudson throwing all those sliders that I didn’t see and it kind of got me in a funk for about two weeks. I feel like I’m laying off them a little bit better now and I feel like I’ve made a few adjustments since then.”
Alfredo Simon was charged with four runs and a career-high 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings, with three walks and one strikeout.
“My starts can be better than that. I know I can do better than that,” he said. “I’m just trying so hard and sometimes I get into trouble in the first and second inning, so I’ve got to face that and just do better.”