It might not be a sight the rebuilding Orioles have much use for these days, but it certainly was a familiar one.
Longtime outfielder Adam Jones, now a fixture in the middle of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ lineup after 11 seasons in Baltimore, was right in the heart of an early offensive onslaught in a 6-3 Arizona win before an announced 19,192 at Chase Field on Monday night.
“He was very instrumental in their win tonight,” outfielder Trey Mancini, one of the few remaining Orioles who played with Jones, said. “I’ve seen him do that a lot when we played together, so it wasn’t as fun to be on the other side of it.”
“He swung the bat well against us tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said. "You look at his career numbers, obviously, he’s had a really productive career. He’s a tough out, and hurt us tonight, big-time.”
Jones singled in the Diamondbacks’ three-run first inning, hit a pop-fly double as Arizona tacked on two runs in the third and singled to drive in a run off reliever Gabriel Ynoa in the fourth.
Combined with some generous defense, that was all Arizona needed to take the Orioles’ first visit since August 2013.
After the game, Jones downplayed the significance of doing it against his former team and eschewed any sentimentality by saying he talks to his former teammates all the time and “we don’t have to go kiss each other on the field like we haven’t spoken to each other.”
He said it was business, not personal.
But the fans who traveled from Baltimore or watched in the city he used to call home will have felt a twinge when outfielder Jarrod Dyson turned the tables on Jones and gave him the postgame pie-to-the-face celebration made famous in Baltimore.
“I’m glad I got it,” Jones said. “Extremely happy I got it. It tasted really good.”
Jones and the Diamondbacks hit Orioles starter Aaron Brooks hard in the first inning, with Ketel Marte singling and scoring on a triple high off the center field wall by Eduardo Escobar.
Brooks gave up two more runs in the third, and a second Arizona triple — another by Escobar — chased him with two outs in the fourth. When Jones singled Escobar home, Brooks left having allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
"I just didn’t think he was as sharp tonight and they came out really aggressive on him,” Hyde said.
Home runs by Hanser Alberto, who had a three-hit night, and Renato Núñez gave the Orioles a pair of runs in the fifth, but that was as close as they got.
With a pair of hits in his first two at-bats, including a bloop into short left field that scored the Orioles’ first run, shortstop Richie Martin has two hits in each of his past three starts.
In that span, Martin raised his average from .172 to .183.
Ynoa allowed Brooks’ last run to score, but kept Arizona off the board in the fifth inning before giving way to Branden Kline. Kline gave the Orioles 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before handing off a runner at third base to Miguel Castro, who left him there with two strikeouts.