"We put up an effort, we put up a fight" said Adam Jones after the Baltimore Orioles' 12-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. "We got 14 hits. I'll take that." (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones had a pretty good day Friday, hearing one of the loudest ovations in pre-game introductions, receiving his 2014 Gold Glove Award and then collecting four hits, including a homer and a double, in a 12-5 blowout loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The fact his team lost, however, tempered his excitement.
"It's cool, all that individual stuff is cool," Jones said. "But you know me, I'm a team guy. We didn't win, I didn't win. All that individual stuff means nothing if we don't win."
Jones matched a career high with four hits — the 14th time he has done that and first since last June 27 against Tampa Bay. Three of the hits Friday, including a first inning solo homer, came against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle, whom Jones wears out.
In his career versus the veteran lefty, Jones is 14-for-34 (.412) with two homers and seven RBIs.
"I don't know how I do it, trust me," Jones said. "I don't ask questions, because as soon as I say, 'I'm doing well off him,' he's going to get me out the next three times. So, whatever I did off him, I'm just going to try to repeat it."
After smashing his first homer of the season, Jones then doubled against Buehrle in the third and nearly had a second double in the fifth, but was thrown out trying to stretch his RBI single. He beat out an infield hit to deep short in the eighth and later scored his second run of the afternoon.
Heading into Friday, Jones was just 1-for-11 in the club's first three games. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he's never worried about his center fielder. who has hit at least .280 with 25 or more homers in four consecutive seasons.
"Adam is one of those guys. He's got enough experience with him that you know if he goes through a rough patch, somebody is going to pay," Showalter said. "Very competitive. Takes a lot of pride being out there, being somebody that we, and the fans, can count on."
Jones was presented with his fourth Gold Glove Award, and third straight, prior to the game. And then he nearly made an outstanding catch on the first batter.
Jose Reyes hit a sinking liner that Jones dove for, and nearly caught, but the ball bounced out of his glove when he crashed to the ground.
"I dove for the ball so therefore it creates difficulty," Jones said. "If I was standing in the area and missed it, there's a conversation. But if I'm diving for something? (It's) 50-50."
The effort that Jones puts out on a daily basis — offensively and defensively — isn't lost on his younger teammates.
"He is real important, because he hits in the middle of the lineup. For him to get going … the team is going to go to," second baseman Jonathan Schoop said. "You see Adam starting good, 4-for-4, and you feel like you have a chance to hit the ball hard, too."
Schoop had the Orioles' other home run Friday, but the Orioles couldn't dig out of a 9-1 deficit through the first four innings — dampening a day in which the Orioles celebrated their 2014 division crown with their home fans.
"It was a great Opening Day. Obviously, we wanted to win, but our effort level was there," Jones said. "We just didn't score enough runs."