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Adam Jones back in Orioles' starting lineup, but as the designated hitter

HOUSTON — After missing the past two games with a left ankle sprain, Adam Jones is back in the Orioles starting lineup for tonight's series opener against the Houston Astros, but he won't be in center field.

Jones will bat third as the starting designated hitter tonight. David Lough will make his third straight start in center.

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Shortstop J.J. Hardy is also out of the starting lineup tonight.

Jones tested his ankle -- which he injured sliding into home in Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader against the White Sox -- earlier today, running sprints and doing agility drills under the supervision of head trainer Richie Bancells. He said those tests "felt pretty good" and he plans to do more running during batting practice.

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Jones hoped to be back in center field for Monday night's game, but manager Buck Showalter wants to give him another off from playing defense.

"I am not going to be stupid," Jones said before the Orioles' lineup was posted. "I am not going to be Superman in the beginning of June. But I want to be out there. … It's boring DHing. I'm going to try to play center. But if I have to DH, I'll DH, but I think the smart thing is to make sure there's no lingering effects and try not to be Superman right now. Just try to make sure it's going to hold so you've got nothing lingering throughout the season."

Jones said he's been bored not being in the lineup and joked he needs to get back in the field so he stops raiding the clubhouse dining room.

"I've been bored, really bored, missing my teammates, missing being on the field with the guys," Jones said. "But it's crazy when I'm not in the lineup, everybody in Baltimore is like, you see people all the time, 'I drove this amount, this distance to see you play and you're not playing.' That's the thing. I'm in because I pride myself in playing every day.

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"So when I'm not playing, I'm bored," Jones said. "I don't know what to do. I'm going to try to get out there and stay out of the kitchen, because when I don't play, I just raid the kitchen. … I'm not sad. I just want to play. You've been around me. I don't like to disclose about how I'm feeling or how my body feels, but I just want to play and that's what I've done here. Let's get back to that."

Here is the Orioles starting lineup for tonight:

Orioles
Manny Machado 3B
David Lough CF
Adam Jones DH
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Everth Cabrera SS
Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

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