Adam Jones has hit 20 homers this year but the one he hit tonight was the key blast in helping the Orioles win a game and it had Jones a little more fired up and emotional than he usually gets after most homers.
He wanted to give his starting pitcher a lift and a lead and he did both.
“I rarely show emotion on home runs, but (Chris) Tillman battled his tail off and it was to take the lead,” Jones said of his three-run homer which put the Orioles up 4-2 in the sixth. “A big home run for the team and for myself, but more importantly it was for Tillman. We were behind him and he went out in the seventh and had a really good inning.
“If he does what he did tonight, he’ll be here for a while.”
Toronto’s Brandon Morrow had a perfect game for five innings before Jones and the Orioles ended that bid and took the lead.
“The first five innings he shoved it, he was dealing. But we started to see him more than once. We broke up his rhythm. He was in the windup all day and then had to go out of a stretch. After throwing 50 or 60 pitches out of the windup, then you have to throw one out of the stretch. We got some hits.”
Jones’ homer was his career-high 20th. He seemed not to care much about that number or the fact that he took an outside pitch out of the Yard to right field onto the flag court.
“I don’t care, we won the game,” he said. “Just hit the ball where it was pitched. I don’t care where it goes, as long as I hit the ball on the barrel.”
Jones has eight multi-hit games over his last 14 games and is batting .368 in that stretch with four doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs.
In 22 games since the All-Star break, he has seven homers and 19 RBIs.
The four-run inning gave Chris Tillman enough support to get his third win of the year in the O’s 6-2 victory. He gave up just four hits and two runs over seven innings.
“It was good. A carryover of some stuff I’ve been doing. Had good fastball command throughout and I found my cutter, it came back to me. I was able to throw my changeup for strikes when I needed to,” Tillman, who is now 3-4 with an ERA of 4.85, said.
He almost matched Morrow in the early innings but kept his team close enough where they could come from behind and win.
“Every time Morrow goes out, runs will be at a minimum, but the team stayed in it and made some big plays behind me.
“I knew I just had to keep making my pitches. I was making them earlier on and knew I could keep doing it. Just let my defense do the work. I just had to go out and focus on what I was doing. It was a battle and we did a great job,” Tillman said after his 93-pitch outing that was one out short of his career longest outing.