Orioles pre-game: Adam Jones returns to O's starting lineup for series finale in Boston

BOSTON — Adam Jones is back in the starting lineup -- batting fourth and starting in center field -- this afternoon for the Orioles' series finale at Fenway Park after not being available for the past six days with back spasms.

"I'd like to get one under his belt before we get home," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We'll see if anything flares up."


Showalter said that Jones returning today in a day game gives him more recovery time before Monday's night game, when the Orioles open their final homestand – seven games in seven days against the Blue Jays and Yankees.

"It's just one of those day-to-day things, you don't know how it's going to respond until you get out there," Jones said. 'Structurally, there's no caution where that's concerned, just see how the body responds to playing. Sometimes you play a couple innings, everything loses up and you're back in your element."


The Orioles have missed Jones' presence in the lineup. In his career, Jones is a .292/.341/.475 hitter against the Red Sox and his 21 homers against Boston are the second-most against any opponent (Blue Jays, 29). Jones is 8-for-16 in four games at Fenway Park this season and is a .410 hitter (24-for-61) in Boston since the beginning of the 2014 season.

"It's like J.J. [Hardy] to a point," Showalter said. "It's tough playing a game without either one of them. Matt is one of those guys. Chris is one of those guys. Manny is starting to graduate some. That's why starting pitchers don't carry that with a certain few exceptions."

Showalter is also giving Hardy a day off today. Paul Janish will start at short for him and bat ninth.

Chris Davis is at designated hitter for the second consecutive game. Showalter said Saturday he wanted to give Davis some time off defensively because he has a bruised right shin from fouling a ball off his leg.

Right-hander Darren O'Day was not available on Saturday – Showalter gave him two days off after he closed three straight days in Washington – but he is available today. Closer Zach Britton was available Saturday, but the Orioles never had a reason to use either one late in the game in their 8-0 loss.

-- Pitching prospect Hunter Harvey is slated to see renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Oct. 5, Showalter said.

Harvey, who was shelved after feeling elbow and forearm tightness while pitching in instructional league, was evaluated by Orioles team orthopedist Dr. Mike Jacobs. Showalter said an MRI on Harvey's elbow and forearm area was structurally sound.

-- Showalter, whose disdain for September expanded rosters is well-known, pointed out that Saturday's loss – in which the Orioles used seven relievers – was a perfect example that Major League Baseball must amend the September roster process.

"They should take the tape of yesterday's game when they start talking about doing something about September call-up baseball and they should send that game in and say here's why you don't do it," Showalter said.

Showalter has advocated for teams to submit a list of 25 eligible players before every series, so teams could submit three or four starters and get the benefit of extra relievers. Changes to that list could be made only in certain circumstances, like after injured player is evaluated by an MLB-approved doctor, and all players on the roster, regardless of whether they were on that 25-man series list, would receive service time.

"You could have never have done what they were able to do yesterday, just like us a few years ago," Showalter said, referring to the Orioles knocking the Red Sox out of the playoff race in the final series of 2011. "I think Terry Francona might still be the manager here if we didn't have 40-man baseball. Seriously, take a look at it, but that's why."

Nolan Reimold LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis DH
Adam Jones CF
Steve Pearce 1B
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Gerardo Parra RF
Caleb Joseph C
Paul Janish SS


Red Sox
Mookie Betts RF
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 3B
Rusney Castillo LF
Allen Craig 1B
Blake Swihart C
Jackie Bradley, Jr. CF
Henry Owens RHP


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