Adam Jones is certainly hitting better against left-handed pitchers this season. That came in handy last night when he hit a two-run homer in the first inning against Francisco Liriano. It was all the offense the Orioles would get in a 2-1 win over the Twins.
Jones hit four homers all of last season in 153 at-bats against lefties. This year, he has six in 93 at-bats against southpaws. He averaged a homer every 38.3 at-bats last year against the lefties and that mark is one every 15.5 at-bats in 2012.
Jones vs. left-handed pitchers:
* In 2011, he batted .242-4-14 with an OPS of .665
* In 2012, he’s hitting .312-6-13 with an OPS of .853.
Jones now has hit 22 homers this year and 14 of them have either tied the game or given the Orioles the lead. The team is 17-4 when Jones hits a homer. He has now homered in back-to-back games for the first time since May 15-17, when he hit one in three consecutive games.
You have to give Tommy Hunter major props for his outing last night. He gave up just one run and six hits over 7 1/3 innings to get his fourth win.
Here is a pretty surprising stat: Hunter has made 14 starts this year and the Orioles are 9-5 in those games.
His outing last night was unexpected for so many reasons including:
* His ERA was 8.16 over his previous seven major league starts.
* He had just one win since April 25.
* His road ERA was 8.07.
* He did this against a Twins team that had produced 25 runs on 33 hits with nine doubles and a homer in the two previous games. They were batting .429 in this series.
Yes, I am the same guy who wrote last night that Steve Johnson could eventually take this spot in the rotation. But Hunter, for at least one night, brought stability to an unsettled Orioles rotation.
The Orioles won another close one and they are now 17-6 in one-run games. They have the best winning percentage in the AL in one-run contests.
.739 - Orioles (17-6)
.737 - Cleveland (14-5)
.591 - New York (13-9)