Adam Jones answered the question about as definitively as he answered the Yankees’ comeback tonight.
Jones put the homer he hit tonight to break the 6-6 tie in the last of the eighth at the top of his list on his all-time hit parade.
“That right there is the biggest hit I’ve ever had in my life,” Jones said. “Everything else has been leading up to this. It’s my 100th Orioles home run. If someone knows how to find that ball, let me get it. But (it’s) the biggest hit I’ve ever had. Hopefully, I can have one later this month that is even bigger.”
Two more homers followed that one and the Orioles hit six on the night to beat the Yankees 10-6. Jones was asked about the raucous sellout crowd.
“It was pretty special. I put on Twitter before we left that I wanted to get chills when they said ‘O’ (in the national anthem). I got them tonight,” he said. “There was just a pocket of Yankees fans. But this city is a baseball city and this is the first time I’ve really got to feel that in my five years here. We’re playing good ball now and they’re here.”
Mark Reynolds hit two more homers on the night, giving him four in three games, eight in the last seven and 11 over his last 22 games.
“My confidence is up definitely,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know what I’m doing different now than earlier in the season. Just got that home run a couple of weeks ago and it started snowballing for me. Just playing with confidence. So is this whole team. We’re excited to get to the ballpark every day.
“It (the crowd) was unbelievable. That first inning, they are all on their feet. I was trying to talk to J.J. in the ninth inning. He was 10 feet away and couldn’t hear me. It was pretty special. It was a fun night. I think we were 0-fer on statue nights. But the crowd had a lot to do with it. They kept the energy up all night and that definitely translated over to the players. We thrive off that. It was great to see a lot more Orioles fans than Yankee fans here tonight.”
Reynolds talked about the Orioles scoring four runs in the eighth after New York had rallied with five in the top half to forge a 6-6 tie.
“That was a full range of emotions right there,” he said. “You had a big lead and they battle back and tie it up. (Darren) O’Day made a big pitch there on (Derek) Jeter and got him to pop out. Then Jonesy kind of let everyone breathe a lit bit with that big home run. It was a fun night, a good night.”
Reynolds said it was important to win the series opener.
“It’s huge, but we still have three big games left and anything can happen,” he said. “We’re not resting on our laurels. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to figure out a way to beat (Phil) Hughes.”
Starting pitcher Jason Hammel gave up one run and six hits over five innings plus one batter in his first O’s outing since July 13.
“That was awesome. It’s been too long,” Hammel said. “I was unaware I was on a pitch count. I was a little ticked off (to come out then), but hopefully we’ll be in this for two months more, so you have to be smart.
“I felt pretty sharp. I still feel there is some strength that can come back. But for the first time back in a month and a half, I felt pretty good.”
Like the other players, Hammel praised the fans tonight.
“That is the way it should be,” he said. “We can use that. They bring a whole new feeling to us when we are down. They pushed us through it.”
Jones also said it was the Orioles’ biggest win of the year “by far.”
“A team like that, they come back and tie the game. Usually (David) Robertson comes in a shuts you down,” he said. “We were swinging the bats well. This whole clubhouse is levelheaded, no one is too high or too low.
“As soon as I hit that ball that is the loudest I’ve ever heard Camden Yards.”