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Baltimore Orioles

Orioles' Adam Jones leaves game Friday in second inning with left hamstring strain

NEW YORK — Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who was pulled for a pinch hitter in Thursday's loss to the Washington Nationals but returned to the lineup today, made it only through the second inning before he was pulled from the game with a left hamstring strain, the team announced.

Jones dismissed questions about his health before the game, saying that his batting leadoff and starting in center fielder were all that mattered.

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Manager Buck Showalter said it was a longer discussion internally, with Jones arriving at about 2 p.m. to test his hamstring on the field.

"We've been out here a couple times and we feel like he's OK to go," Showalter said. "We'll see how batting practice goes. I've got two lineups. I can change it during batting practice. But right now, he's playing."

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He made it through the pregame period without issue but legged out a ground ball out to third base to open the game. He played one inning in the field before the injury became too much. Nolan Reimold stepped into the on-deck circle to bat for him in the second inning, but the spot in the order never came up. Reimold replaced Jones in center field in the bottom of the inning.

Since moving to the leadoff spot, Jones is batting .301/.333/.506 with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs in 80 games. Overall, he's batting .277 with a .773 OPS.

A lingering problem with Jones' hamstring would require an outfielder to be added to the roster, as there's no real center-field replacement in the organization. Reimold made an error in the second inning when he chased down a ball in left-center field and dropped it.

Rookie Joey Rickard, who has been on the disabled list since the Orioels last visited New York in late July with a torn thumb ligament, won't be back until mid-September. There are several players in the high minors who play center field, including Chris Dickerson, Julio Borbon, Mike Yastrzemski, and Xavier Avery. None are on the 40-man roster.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JonMeoli


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