Adam Jones hit just .218 in April. But he got his offense really going in May and he wants to put the finishing touches on his best season yet in Baltimore in the season's final 65 games.
"I want to have a big second half," Jones said. "I was a little frustrated going into the break. This game is bigger than me. Just want to have the right attitude and try to have a big second half for the team."
He is now batting .284 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs. Jones' slugging percentage is up from last year (.442 to .471) and so is his OPS (.767 to .797). Last season, Jones hit .262 with runners in scoring position and that number is .305 this season.
He drove in two big runs in last night's 3-2 win over the Angels with a homer and sac fly. His 17 homers is now two off his career best and his 58 RBIs is 12 off a career high.
Over the last eight games, Jones is batting .310 with two doubles, four homers and nine RBIs. He has an OPS of .994 since the All-Star break.
He said he is not concerned about trying to pick up the slack in a lineup currently without Vladimir Guerrero and Luke Scott.
"There's no pressure on me. I am not trying to put pressure on myself, I think I did enough of that last year. Just trying to seize an opportunity to hit in the middle of the lineup. I'd like to stay there," he said.
Jones is homering at a quicker rate than he ever has.
Jones at-bats per homer by year with the Orioles:
2008: 1 every 53 at-bats.
2009: 1 every 24.9 at-bats.
2010: 1 every 30.6 at-bats.
2011: 1 every 21.6 at-bats.
After last night's game, Buck Showalter said of Jones:
"I've said it quite a few times and the first day of spring training, regardless of what's going on with our pitching, our team, whatever, Adam's been solid. With one exception, nobody in the American League's played the game with more passion and energy than Adam has."
Jones enjoyed leaving the field with the fans having something to cheer about for a change last night.
"It would be cool if the place was packed, but it's always good when the fans stand up for you. They don't get the opportunity a lot around here (lately) so it was good to see them standing," he said.