It was a monumental day for the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, as Adam Jones finally signed his new deal and held a press conference; however, they could not defeat the Royals on Sunday. Kansas City would win by a score of 4-2, and Baltimore could not take the three game series.
They are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East with a record of 29-29.
Brian Matusz started on the mound for Baltimore and has been fairly solid as of late, but he ran into some trouble on Sunday and paid for it. Matusz delivered a good workman’s effort; however, he got hurt by the long ball as Billy Butler homered in the first inning and Jeff Francoeur hit a solo homer in a two-run, sixth inning.
Matusz went six innings and gave up four runs – three earned – and took the loss. Considering where the southpaw was last year, Matusz is looking more and more like the pitcher we saw at the end of 2010.
When it comes down to it, he needs to trust his stuff and show some consistency on the mound. Once Matusz does that start after start, he will be fine.
For the Orioles, they just could not score more than two runs despite having a considerable number of baserunners during the first half of the game; however, after Baltimore knocked out Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar, who started the game, they were shut down offensively. Five Royals’ pitchers stifled the Orioles, and Tim Collins got the win in relief.
Baltimore got their runs in the first inning off a Nick Markakis RBI-double and also during the fourth off Xavier Avery’s single.
Adam Jones – who is now the Orioles’ $85 million dollar man – extended his hitting streak to 18 games. He had one hit on the afternoon.
Sunday’s attendance at Camden Yards was 33,919 – a remarkably solid number and a testament to the area’s renewed interest with the Birds.
The Orioles once again have a gauntlet to go through in the next two weeks as they face the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies – all in succession.
Once again, we’ll get a solid read on the team and what they are made of in the days to come.
The Orioles once again have a rough patch in the schedule, and if they can win more than they lose in that period – it will be intriguing to see what moves are made heading into July. They have surprised everyone so far, and let’s hope the good times continue to roll.
Finally, I do want to touch upon Adam Jones. I’ll have some thoughts on Dylan Roberts, Brian Roberts and Endy Chavez on Monday morning; however, let’s back to Jones.
I finally got to view Adam Jones’ press conference in full, and did he ever – I mean, ever – come off good.
He said all the right things, thanked his family, management, and what not; however, he spoke about being part of the solution in Baltimore and sticking around to see a winner.
Well, sometimes athletes just say stuff in the public domain as lip service, but if you watched Jones speak, he realizes that this new deal will come with additional scrutiny, expectations and more.
Like I said the other day, Jones is a extremely savvy individual. As a fan, it was particularly reassuring to hear his commitment to the area and taking an active role to lift up the Orioles.
If Jones was seen not a leader on the Orioles in the past – he is now.
There’s not been a lot to be happy for as a Baltimore baseball fan, but give a lot of credit to Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter and yes, ownership for locking up Jones.
This deal for Jones had to be done sooner or later, and kudos to the Orioles for pulling out the stops to make everything happen.