Jones sore, but starts in usual spot for O's

Jones sore, but starts in usual spot for O's

Jones sore, but starts in usual spot for O's
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones, who has been dealing with contusions on both hands and wrists this week, was back in his normal spot in the lineup Friday against the Phillies after leaving for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Thursday's 7-0 loss in Boston.

Jones said Friday that he felt fine, and an MRI taken Monday revealed nothing beyond the contusions.

Manager Buck Showalter also pinch-hit for Jones in the ninth inning of Sunday's 8-4 loss to the Rays, calling it a precautionary measure. Thursday's decision was made in a similar vein.

"Adam is still a little sore," Showalter said after the game. "We picked a spot there to get him out of there and save an at-bat. He got jammed earlier, and I know it bites him a little bit, but it goes away."

Nick Johnson hit in Jones' place. Showalter has consistently stressed the importance of keeping all of his players in the flow of the game with regular at-bats whenever possible.

"Everybody is banged up in some sort or fashion, because you play a game every day," Showalter said. "I get an opportunity there to keep [Jones] hopefully healthy and get Nicky an at-bat, who hasn't had many, I am going to do it."

Jones is the only O's player to start every game this season, making 57 consecutive appearances in center field.

His presence in the outfield and the middle of the Baltimore order has been vital, as normal No. 3 hitter and right fielder Nick Markakis is sidelined for another two to three weeks due to a broken right hamate bone while leadoff hitter and left fielder Nolan Reimold remains out indefinitely until the numbness and tingling in his extremities subside.

Jones signed a six-year, $85.5 million contract extension last week and is the Orioles' leader this season in hits (69), runs (39), home runs (16), RBIs (35) and stolen bases (nine).