The smiles flashed throughout the visiting clubhouse at Safeco Field, from Brian Matusz, who was solid in his 2011 big league debut, from Adam Jones, who again tormented his former team with the game-winning home run and a game-saving catch, and from Nick Markakis, whose first professional game at first base passed without incident. Desperate for something to feel good about, some positive to take back from an otherwise miserable West Coast swing, the Orioles on Wednesday afternoon received an encouraging outing from Matusz, the 24-year-old left-hander expected to be one of the rotation's anchors for years to come. But even more than that, they needed a win, and they got one because of Jones' long solo home run off Jamey Wright that broke a tie at 1 in the eighth inning. Thanks to scoreless relief outings from Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara and Kevin Gregg, Jones' upper-deck blast stood up as the winning run in the Orioles' 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners before an announced 18,036 at Safeco Field. "I don't want to call it a big game, but I think emotionally it was a good win for us in a lot of ways," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose team ended a five-game losing streak and takes a 25-29 record into Thursday's day off. "Jonesy was a difference-maker. [He] put on an all-around show today. He's having a special year." Jones had three hits, including his seventh home run of the season, the only one Wright (1-2) has surrendered in 25 2/3 innings this year, and also made one of the season's best defensive plays. With his back to the center-field wall, Jones made a leaping basket catch to rob Miguel Olivo of an extra-base hit in the fourth. Against his old team this season, Jones went 13-for-22 (.590) with one walk, two doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBIS. His homer was his first against the Mariners (28-27), and he took particular pride in doing it in front of his cousin, Adrian Limbrick, who comes to all his games when the Orioles are at Safeco Field. However, more than anything, Jones was really glad that the Orioles won and had something to show for a poor road trip that started with them on a five-game winning streak and at the .500 mark. With a loss Wednesday, it would have ended with the team six games below .500 for the first time all season.
Jones, Matusz help Orioles end 5-game skid
Baltimore Sun | Jun 2