In absence of Jones, Lough comes up big

In absence of Jones, Lough comes up big

BOSTON -- With four-time All-Star and team leader Adam Jones sidelined with a right shoulder injury, the O's have kept on winning in large part because of guys stepping up.

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On Tuesday, it was David Lough's turn as Jones' backup in center field delivered a three-run homer that helped Baltimore to a 6-4 series-opening win over the Red Sox.

"I don't get many [homers], not as many as [Jones] gets," Lough said, "but it was good to get that on the board tonight and put up those three runs for us."

Lough's three-run homer

Lough sent Boston starter Joe Kelly's full-count fastball into right-center field to score Travis Snider and J.J. Hardy and increase the O's lead to 4-0 in the second inning. It marked Lough's fourth homer of the year.

"I faced him a little bit in the Minor Leagues when he was in St. Louis and I was in Kansas City, so I was familiar with him," said Lough, who entered the game 2-for-3 off Kelly in the Majors. "I know he has a hard fastball and a power sinker. We faced him before in the big leagues and ... just wanted to put together good at-bats today, and we were able to get to him today and get a W."

Lough's at-bat helped that cause, improving the Orioles to 4-1 in the five games Jones has been out of the lineup with the injury.

"Let's face it. David's abilities allow us to be cautious with Adam," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're fortunate to have him. We try to be a sum-of-the-parts team, and you've got some guys who get hot and do things for extended periods of time."

Lough could be one of them. He has homered in three of his last 10 games after going deep just once through his first 41 games of the season.

"We're just trying to get [Jones] healthy and back on the field," Lough said. "I think he's taking it day by day, and I'm just willing to step in and do anything to help the team."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.