In the sixth inning Monday night, Rays star Evan Longoria hit a deep fly ball to center. Jones sized up it, jumped at the wall, reached over and caught the ball. No homer for you, Mr. Longoria. But that was only the first part of Jones' great play.
He was alert enough afterward to spot Matt Joyce trying to tag up from first base. Sometimes the trade off for making a great catch in the outfielder is runners advancing on the bases. Not Joyce. Jones fired the ball in and nailed him at second base. We see a lot of double plays, but not many that require as much effort as Jones displayed here.
At that point, the score was already 9-1 in favor of the Orioles (which it would remain), so this was just one of the things that went right for the AL East leaders in the game. The O's got five homers in the game — going back-to-back in the third, then back-to-back-to-back in the fifth. So the offense was just as impressive as Jones' defense.
The Orioles had lost three in a row before Monday's game, so this was heck of a way to bust up a losing streak.
"The strength of this team is the ability to forget," Jones said after the game. "Something happens, forget it, move on. It's three games. Hip hip hooray. It's not the end of the world."
Yep. You can bet Jones' catch and throw will be remembered a lot longer than that Orioles' losing streak.
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