BALTIMORE -- The task was simple for Adam Jones: move down in the lineup, and zone in on a pitch to hit.
So far, so good. Jones entered Thursday on a career-best 12-game hit streak, a stretch in which he was 14-for-45 (.311) with a pair of doubles, one triple, two home runs, six runs scored and seven driven in. It's the longest such streak of the season by any Oriole.
"I think what's helped him is that he's not swinging at so many bad pitches," manager Dave Trembley said. "When I had him hitting [first], he felt like he had to swing from his butt trying to hit it out of the ballpark. He was chasing a lot of bad pitches. I think batting him down in the lineup has helped him. He's gotten better."
Jones often flailed uncontrollably at breaking balls off the outer half. His average dipped to .202 on April 28. Since then, Jones' spot lower in the batting order has contributed to a lighter sense of pressure, and a much better average. From that date through Wednesday, Jones was hitting .306 (30-for-98).
On Thursday, Jones extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, with a lined single right past Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez with one out in the second. He finished 2-for-5 with two singles, getting stranded on both occasions.