Orioles center fielder Adam Jones left Sunday's matinee home finale with general leg soreness, signaling perhaps that manager Buck Showalter might lighten the load on some of the team's stalwarts during the final week of the season.
Showalter said after the game that Jones has been dealing with soreness of some kind of months but didn’t want to take off the team’s last game at Camden Yards out of respect for the fans.
“I talked to Adam 20 times this year, out of respect for him and knowing some of the physical challenge that you go through and he's going through,” Showalter said. “Last night, about 12:30 or 1 [a.m.], I texted him. He got back to me this morning, which meant he was asleep, I guess. I hope. ... He wanted to play today. He wanted to play today for the fans, as much as anything, and I think that he was scuffling. The same thing that's been bothering him, really, off and on for the last couple months.”
Jones took two at-bats Sunday, doubling in a pair of runs in the Orioles' four-run first inning and flying out in the third inning before Joey Rickard replaced him.
The exit appears to be the culmination of weeks of soreness for Jones, who got two games off in New York last weekend after a three-game series on the turf in Toronto.
He's also been deliberate in some of his movements over the current homestand, walking back to his position gingerly after chasing down balls in the gap several times.
Jones is 19th in the American League with 635 plate appearances this season, and he's played in 147 of the Orioles' 157 games, all in center field. He’s batting .285 with a .788 OPS and 26 home runs.