March 30 (UPI) — Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones led his team to a victory against the Minnesota Twins Thursday with a walk-off home run.
Jones saved his heroics for the bottom of the 11th inning in the 3-2 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The five-time All-Star stepped in to face Twins right-handed receiver Fernando Rodney as the first batter in the extra frame for the Orioles. Jones only needed to see one pitch.
He turned Rodney’s initial offering — a 92 mph two-seam fastball — into a long ball to left field for the Orioles’ first win of the 2018 campaign.
Baltimore held onto a 2-0 lead through seven innings. Caleb Joseph’s seventh inning triple brought in those two scores. But Robbie Grossman tied the game for the Twins when he hit a two RBI single to center in the ninth inning.
Both teams played a scoreless 10th inning before Jones stepped up for the deciding swat.
Jones went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in the win. Catcher Caleb Joseph went 1-for-3 with two RBI for the Orioles.
“One of the biggest things that Adam’s brought here is he posts up,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the game, according to MLB.com.
“Adam, he’s just been a guy. One of the first guys I spent some time with when I got here was Adam. So, obviously, I’ve got a little special affinity for the things he brings. I understand him and the rough edges we all have, but he’s very consistent. Especially with his baseball. You know what you’re getting every night. That’s a lot of games to not ever walk up the runway and not feel like he wasn’t ready to play.”
The Orioles host the Twins again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Baltimore.
“That’s a fitting way to end Opening Day,” Jones said on MASN’s Orioles broadcast after the win.