In the Orioles clubhouse after his huge tie-breaking three-run homer in the last of the eighth led the Orioles past the Yankees 5-3, Adam Jones was asked if he was a bit more animated than usual when he ran around the bases tonight.
“Big spot. Big home run. ESPN game,” Jones said laughing. “Everybody watching. You know me, I play the game with emotion. Big home run, big spot. Nothing wrong with showing a little emotion there.”
First, Jonathan Schoop homered off Dellin Betances to tie the game 2-2. After a Nick Markakis single and Chris Davis walk, Jones hit the first pitch he saw from Shawn Kelley for his 23rd homer.
“Can’t do anything by myself,” he said. “I think that the credit belongs with the guys before me, my team. Without Schoop tying the game, without Markakis having a helluva at-bat getting a hit, without CD having a helluva an at-bat drawing a walk, I’m not in the position I was put in.
“Try to rise to every occasion. Put me in the right spot, I’m expecting to deliver.”
Schoop started the rally and homered with one out off Betances, who was pitching in his third inning and, at that point, had given up just three homers all year over 71 innings.
“Betances came in and was nails and then we slowly started to nitpick at him,” Jones said. “That is what we do, we don’t panic. We were just waiting for that chance.
“When we are down by one, we always feel we are one pitch away with our offense. Once we tied the game, first one to score one wins.”
The win makes the Orioles 8-3 against the Yankees, and they now need just two more wins in the club’s remaining eight games to take a season series from New York for the first time since 1997.
“Just playing good baseball. Doesn’t matter who we are 8-3 against,” Jones said. “We know who the opponent is, but we try to look past that and beat whoever the opponent is, no matter the name on the jersey. ... I just know the history the last few years and we’re better than we used to be.”
Jones was seen in the O’s dugout, and it appeared he was barking toward Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli after his homer.
“Two competitors,” Jones said. That’s pretty much it.”
Schoop talked about his game-tying homer, his 11th of the year.
“It was exciting for me. Me and Manny were talking about it and finally I said, ‘I might go deep on this guy,’ and I did it. Was exciting and then Jonesy came up and won the game for us.
“I just believed in myself there. I said, ‘I’m going to do something special.’ I was talking to Manny and I achieved it.”
Schoop leads the Orioles with four homers and 11 RBIs this season against the Yankees.
“I don’t know exactly why,” he said of that success. “Maybe I put more emphasis or focus. But I need to learn to do that every at-bat. But it’s part of baseball and you have to do it whether you are winning or losing.”
Schoop was asked about Jones and his big homer.
“It’s fun to watch him play. He’s the leader, he leaves everything out there,” he said. “It is fun to be his teammate.”
Chris Tillman gave up just two runs in seven innings tonight. He said he didn’t have his best command and, in his words, he grinded through it.
But the results were pretty solid, and then he watched his team pull it out with that big eighth inning.
“That was special and showed what these guys are capable of,” Tillman said. “We have a great clubhouse. Lot of good leaders in here. I like the way this team is playing right now. We show up ready every day.”
And they improved to 8-3 against New York.
“Awesome,” Tillman said. “Any team in the East to be 8-3 against, that’s good. Especially them.”