Adam Jones has proven his toughness all season long, playing through pain in both of his wrists, starting in center field in every game but one this season -- all while being hit by pitches 10 times, second most in the AL.
But Orioles fans – and manager Buck Showalter – had to cringe during the team’s five-run sixth inning in their 5-3 win over Boston on Wednesday night. That’s when Jones lowered his left shoulder on a play at the plate and collided full force with Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
“You know, as many times as people seemed to have taken target practice at him, and things at the plate you're always [worried],” Showalter said. “Matt [Wieters] takes a foul tip off his knuckle three days ago that didn't look good for a little while. It makes you realize how hard this is to do, not only from their capacity, but you're always one play away from losing some key people”.
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It was a quick play. With the Orioles up 3-2 and runners on second and third, Chris Davis hit a ball to Dustin Pedroia at second. Pedrioa charged the ball and quickly threw home.
The collision between Jones and Saltalamacchia – who are both listed as weighing 225 pounds – was a violent one. Jones drove into the Red Sox catcher, sending him backwards off the plate and flinging his mask into the air. Saltlamacchia held on to the ball for the out, but the Orioles added two more runs on Mark Reynolds’ two-out double.
After the game, Jones tweeted: “I can tell [you] one thing though, Salty is a heavy human.”