There was supposed to be a feel-good ending to the first weekend of baseball in Baltimore since last year’s surprise playoff run — a pronouncement to all the doubters that this club is for real and ready to knock around with the big boys of the
There were glimmers of that premise this first week, with
There were also plenty of reminders that the baseball season won't be continually pleasant, even if a division title is within reach.
That message was delivered by the rebuilding — or maybe transitioning —
Suddenly, the high-flying
"Obviously, you could be 6-0, you could be 0-6. You could be 4-2; .500," Jones said. "We've got 156 to go. It's a long season, so you got to get on the plane. Get back on the road and play baseball."
Jones, who finished Sunday's game with a league-leading .538 average in 26 at-bats, served a prominent role in the loss to the Twins. He scored the first run in the Orioles' three-run second that included a two-run homer by J.J. Hardy.
In the third, Jones inadvertently helped bring the Twins back when he failed to catch a bases-loaded, two-out fly ball. He lost it in the sun, and by the time he could let Reimold know he was in trouble, the ball dropped between the two. And two runs scored.
"It went in the sun and I missed it," Jones said. "Could have got around it better. Mistake. Cost us a couple runs."
That one was easily forgivable, but twice the normally hard-charging Jones failed to sprint out of the batter's box — getting some ire from fans.
It may have cost the Orioles in a one-run game in the eighth when Jones hit a comebacker to pitcher
"It's all my fault pretty much on that at-bat — at every level," Jones said. "You know me, I give max effort and I didn't give it on those instances and those are the kinds of things that frustrate me. If I struck out four times I wouldn't be bothered by it. But the lack of effort on my behalf, that's the thing that frustrates me."
There also was a perceived lack of effort on the final out, when
"I thought that was the ball going back," Casilla said. "I looked up and didn't see nothing, and then I saw the ball going to second. And it was too late."
"Casilla never saw the ball. He thought it was popped up straight behind him," Showalter said. "Jonesy's one of the best in the game at [hustling], so I'm not going there at all. Talking about the ball that was in [the] sun? There's nothing let-down about that. It's a ball in the sun. It happens."
"It comes back to fastball command. I have not been locating my fastball the way I should be," he said. "I felt like I made some good pitches when I needed to. I just got to learn how to close it out in the seventh."
The Orioles have taken the first lead in all six of their games this season, but lost three of them by one run. Last year, the club was a remarkable 29-9 in one-run games, winning three of their first five in that scenario. This year, they are 0-3 in games decided by a run.
"We still can be 29-9 [in one-run games]. I think the numbers can happen like that, can't they?" Jones said. "It's a long season, man. It's the first week of the season. Everybody will catch their breath and now the real long haul of the season is about to start."
The Orioles play in Boston on Monday afternoon against a
“It’s important. You’ve seen the last couple days. You look on the scoreboard today. They had 13 runs and they put them up quick, too,” Jones said. “We’ve got to go out there — we have got [
The Orioles had momentum heading into their own home opener Friday. Now they have to re-establish that as they go to