Baltimore Orioles

Orioles thoughts and observations: Keep Adam Jones at leadoff? Dylan Bundy able to savor his first win

CLEVELAND — Although it was unconventional and somewhat head-scratching, Buck Showalter's "spontaneous" decision to place center fielder Adam Jones in the leadoff spot on against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night paid off.

Jones – who hadn't started a game from the leadoff spot since 2010 – was 3-for-5 in the Orioles' 6-4 win over the Indians, recording just his second three-hit game of the year. His leadoff single to open the game fueled a three-run first inning for the Orioles.


Asked whether Jones would remain atop the batting order for the Orioles' late-afternoon game on Saturday, Showalter just wanted to digest the win first – they snapped their season-long four-game losing streak – but he indicated that Jones would bat leadoff again.

"I don't know," Showalter said. "We'll see. I hadn't gotten that far. It's been a while. Can I just kind of suck this one in a little? No, more than likely. I gave him four options today. Of course, I had already made out the lineup. We both picked the right one."


Don't mess with something that isn't broken, right?

"I get the same effort and same, you know, every day. We had a little talk today. We do every day. Had four options there and this one worked out today. The problem when you do something like that, as a manager, [is] what are you going to do tomorrow if he's 0-for-5 with five punchouts? Where are you going? You always try to leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room. Things like that, you can only do if you trust good players."

A move to the leadoff spot did lead to more pitches for Jones. In his five at-bats an average of 3.6 pitches per plate appearance, compared to 3.33 pitches seen on the season. He saw at least four pitches in three of his five at-bats Friday.

Dylan Bundy half-joked that it took him long enough to get his first major league win.

"It's taken four years I guess to get to that point, but it's still exciting," Bundy said.

Bundy received a taste of the majors as a September call-up in 2012, but Tommy John surgery the following season slowed his progression and he entered this season with just 17 minor league games under his belt since the surgery.

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But having been through all of that, it was a moment even Bundy – whose demeanor is stoic – could enjoy.


"I actually didn't know I got the win until some of the teammates told me in the clubhouse, so it was fun. … Yeah they gave me a couple balls. I don't know which ones they are, but yeah I got a couple of them. I'll probably keep a couple of them and put them in my house or something."

"That's cool," Showalter said. "I wasn't sure of it. I could hear it inside and figured it out. That was it? That's cool. … Those are little moments you take. That's cool. He deserved it, too."

Heading into Friday, Bundy had allowed runs in five of his last six appearances and had allowed seven runs in his last three outings, seeing his ERA balloon from 2.02 to 5.09, so getting results might have been even more important than getting the win.

Showalter trusted Bundy in a difficult spot – he entered in a tied game with two runners in scoring position in the fifth inning – and Bundy worked out of the inning and pitched another scoreless inning.

"He came in a tough situation," Showalter said. "I thought the sixth inning was good for him, too. Little by little."