Hearing from Jones, Matusz, Tillman and Johnson

BOSTON - Adam Jones and Chris Davis were a combined 3-for-7 tonight with a double, home run, three RBIs, two walks and a run scored.

In other words, their standard night.

The duo is batting a combined .434 with seven homers and 29 RBIs. The rest of the team is batting .217 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

"I think everyone thought we were going to go get a middle-of-the-lineup hitter," Jones said. "I'm glad what (Dan) Duquette and (Buck) Showalter did. They put it upon the in-house (guys). They kept everything in-house. It's made us get better. It's made CD better, myself and (Matt) Wieters better. We don't necessarily need the outside help. We've got the guys here. We've got the roster.

"Now, we have the depth throughout the minor leagues so that if someone goes down in the major leagues, we've got some guys that can fill in with some big league experience."

Jones had two more hits tonight, including the tie-breaking double off Koji Uehara in the seventh, to leave his average at .462. It actually went down nine points.

"I feel good at the plate," he said. "I'm not trying to really turn and burn it, I'm trying to make solid contact and keep that in my concept. Hit the ball and not necessarily try and hit the ball out of the park. Just hit the ball hard and wherever it goes, live with the results."

Brian Matusz has stranded all 17 inherited runners since moving into the bullpen last season, including three in 2013. His strikeouts of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew tonight with two runners on base in the sixth helped to decide the outcome.

"Usually when Matusz comes in, there's somebody on base, and he inherits a lot of runners, and the fact that he got out of that situation, it sets the tone for us," Jones said. "I think it set the tone for the rest of the inning, the rest of the game."

"It was huge," Matusz said. "It was a crucial situation in the game right there. They had a little momentum going their way and to be able to stop it right there... And obviously our offense came back and scored a run for us. It was a crucial part and it was a nice way to end it there.

"I came in a little jacked up. Tough situation - one out, guys on base. Obviously, Tilly (Chris Tillman) pitched a great game. Wanted to get out of that inning there. Fell behind in the count and just kind of relaxed and trusted my stuff and trusted Wieters and was able to pound the zone and get the count to 3-2. Then I was able to drop a slider down there on the dish, and luckily Salty chased on it.

"After that, with Drew, just wanted to come back and attack the zone and get ahead 0-2. Tried to be a little too fine with the next two pitches, but able to make a good pitch and luckily get out of there."

Tillman settled for a no-decision, with Matusz picking up the win. He threw 101 pitches in 5 1/3 innings.

"It was OK," he said. "Not where I need to be yet, but I was able to make some adjustments in-game and I was happy with that. But I'd like to get my work in in between starts and be able to start the game better."

The Red Sox are known for working the count, but Tillman retired seven of eight batters to get into the sixth inning.

"They always have," he said. "I had that in mind and they got in a lot of deep counts tonight, fouled off a lot of pitches. I felt like that third inning took forever. But after that inning, that's what kind of got me locked in. I knew I wanted to get back in the dugout as quick as I could and that kind of got the momentum back on our side."

Closer Jim Johnson, who notched his fourth save, said the Orioles are just trying to "get in a rhythm."

"In the beginning part of the season, you play a lot of day games, night games, you have days off. You have opening days, so it's kind of tough to get into a routine. Now we're a little bit more settled and guys can fit into their roles and get a little bit more comfortable," he said.

"We know what we have to do. We're playing against teams in our division and obviously all these games mean a lot. They're a good team and they're totally different than what they were last year. It's going to be a dogfight all the way through. And we know that and they know that. Anytime you can win a series and move on to the next city, you're happy."

blog comments powered by Disqus


Rocket Fuel