ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Jones Gets Chance to Bat Second

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 13, 2008

BOSTON, July 12 -- Of the 91 games in which Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones had played this season before taking the field Saturday night, he had batted in a spot other than seventh or eighth in just nine of them.

His placement in the order has been by design, as Manager Dave Trembley tries to help Jones thrive without pressure. And the numbers show that the plan has worked. Hitting in the seventh or eighth spot, Jones is batting .282 compared with .250 everywhere else.

But after a five-game losing skid prompted a lineup shuffle by Trembley on Friday, Jones may be seeing more time in the second spot, between leadoff man Brian Roberts and No. 3 hitter Aubrey Huff. Trembley said Jones's spot in the lineup will be a day-to-day decision.

"Let's leave him in there and see how he does," said Trembley on Saturday, after penciling Jones into the No. 2 spot for the second straight game. "He did real good last night. He complemented Roberts. I thought his situational hitting was good. He hit with two strikes. Jones has made steady progress, and his progress has been consistent."

Jones went 1 for 4 with a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and a run scored on Friday. Entering Saturday's game, Jones was hitting .393 with 12 runs and 13 RBI in his last 14 games.

"The hitter's going to see what he's going to see no matter where he's at," Jones said. "I'm going to take the same approach that I have. The only thing is I've got to take more pitches to let B-Rob run."

Practice Pays Off

Closer George Sherrill credited a bullpen session with pitching coach Rick Kranitz as the reason he felt better during his appearance on Friday night.

"In spring training, I just really worked on having my shoulder and my hip both closed off when I come set," said Sherrill, who closed out Friday's game for a save. "For some reason, my shoulder had drifted back open."

UP NEXT Today at Red Sox1:35 p.m. Cabrera (6-4) vs. Matsuzaka (9-1) MASN, TBS, WJZ-13


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