Wednesday's offensive explosion in the fourth inning was the obvious angle from the Orioles' 9-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Look a little closer at it and it's hard to ignore center fielder's Adam Jones' contributions -- in the inning and in the month of May.


Jones started the season-high eight-run inning with a double off the scoreboard in right. Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who has a cannon for an arm, played the ball perfectly. But Jones was running from the start and made second easily.

That set up the first run on a groundout by Vladimir Guerrero. Jones came up big on a two-run single later in the inning. And Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave Jones credit for sprinting to second base on another grounder by Guerrero in the fourth that made shortstop Alcides Escobar rush his throw and commit an error, allowing another run to score.

"That's the thing I take out of the game tonight, a player on a pretty routine-looking ball doesn't assume it and busts it to second base," Showalter said. "And that's what Jonesy has been doing since Day One. He sets a great example."

Don't look now, but Jones is now batting .297 on the season. He is leading the team in RBIs (28), and is tied for first in runs (25) and homers (six). He has batted .375 with 14 RBIs in his past 21 games and has hit .390 with nine extra-base hits in his past 14 games.

"When Adam trusts himself and lets the ball travel, very seldom do they get him out," Showalter said. "He's hitting close to .300 and playing center field at a Gold Glove level, and his effort is platinum right now, his effort level. It's fun to watch Adam play."

If Jones keeps this up, he may be on his way to his second All-Star Game at just 25. But he's not pumping his chest -- instead he's trying to keep the focus on the team. And that's good to see, too.

This is what he said Wednesday when asked whether he felt like he was in a groove: "I feel good up there at the plate. The team is swinging it better of late, and I just feed off the person in front of me. Everybody needs to just feed off each other."

ROSTER NOTE: First baseman Brandon Snyder was sent back to Triple-A Norfolk after Wednesday's game, as expected. He had a double and a single in nine at-bats (.222 average). The Orioles haven't made an announcement on a corresponding move, but expect catcher Craig Tatum to be recalled and start Thursday's afternoon game behind the plate.