video thumbnail

BAL@KC: Jones jacks a dramatic 15th-inning home run

KANSAS CITY -- Adam Jones was 0-for-6 and Royals' fans were giving him the business when he came to the plate in the 15th inning on Wednesday night.

One pitch and 431 feet later, the razzing abruptly stopped. Jones promptly silenced the crowd and put an end to Kansas City's four-game winning streak with a mammoth homer to left field that boosted the Orioles to a 4-3 victory that kept Baltimore tied for first place in the American League East.

"It was a hanging slider," Jones said. "Before that, I had some pitches to hit and just missed them. People behind me were yelling at me. But after I hit that one, they shut up."

Jones continues to show a flair for the dramatic. He now has 12 homers, and nine have either tied the game or given the Orioles a lead. The game-winner against Nate Adcock on Wednesday came after the Orioles rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the ninth to force extra innings on a two-out RBI single by J.J. Hardy.

Jones came up in the 12th with a runner in scoring position, but he popped out to third. There would be another opportunity and Jones didn't let previous frustrations get to him.

"It could easily have been a situation where I went up there, not cared about that at-bat and went 0-for-7," Jones said. "But each at-bat I take personally. I didn't give away any of my seven at-bats tonight and I can live with myself after that."

For much of the night, it seemed as though the Orioles, 24-14, were going to come up short. Starter Tommy Hunter delivered seven strong innings, but made a mistake to No. 9 hitter Humberto Quintero in the fifth and wound up surrendering a two-run single. Kansas City starter Felipe Paulino threw shutout ball through seven and the Royals had a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead as closer Jonathan Broxton took the mound for the ninth.

But former Royal Wilson Betemit homered with one out and the Orioles put two on with two outs before Hardy came through with the tying RBI single.

Baltimore has now won six games when trailing after seven innings. Last year, the Orioles accomplished that feat just five times.

The Orioles received excellent relief outings from Darren O'Day, Dana Eveland and Kevin Gregg to keep the game tied and Jim Johnson got his 21st consecutive save after the Jones homer.

"Jones is having a great year and we're proud of him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He doesn't ever give in. You always feel that if he struggles, somebody is going to pay down the line. He's a very competitive young man."

The Royals, 15-21, entered the homestand opener having won 12 of their previous 18 games. They were in position to keep that momentum going, but a closer who has been thriving in recent weeks couldn't seal the deal.

Before Hardy's game-tying hit off Broxton, Baltimore rookie Xavier Avery kept the game going with a two-out single.

"I didn't get the job done," Broxton said. "That's all that matters. I wasted a really good start from Paulino."

Showalter appreciated the way his team continued to battle even when it looked grim.

"You play a late game last night with the emotion in the Yankee series and I'm sure these guys didn't get to bed before 4 a.m.," Showalter said. "There's such a temptation to give in. In our sport, if you can stay mentally and emotionally strong, you are going to get a payback.

"Our guys have had a lot of resolve about finishing the task. We have a lot of guys here who have had their nose bloodied. They are willing to fight so that it doesn't happen again."

MLB.com Comments