Teammates praise Jones' acrobatic play

Teammates praise Jones' acrobatic play

SEATTLE -- Asked if his fantastic fourth-inning catch in Wednesday's 2-1 Orioles win was likely the best of the day, Adam Jones didn't hold back.

"There's always some good plays," said Jones, the energetic Orioles outfielder who isn't afraid to speak his mind. "But that's going to be hard for them to top."

Jones was hardly alone in his assessment, as his catch -- which involved Jones slamming up against the wall and doing a backwards somersault when hitting the ground -- gave a scuffling Orioles team a huge lift in what was then a tie game.

"[He's] just a tremendous athlete," Orioles closer Kevin Gregg raved about Jones. "You could see it in the outfield today. He looked like [Ken] Griffey with the play against the wall there."

Jones remarkably held on to the ball -- hit by Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo -- and raised his arm triumphantly in the air when coming up and taking a knee.

"I've seen him do it plenty of times from right field, but from first base, it puts it into perspective how great of a catch that is," Nick Markakis said of Jones, who went on to hit a decisive eighth-inning homer. "It was probably one of the catches of the year that I've seen. It doesn't surprise me that he comes up with that ball."

"It was awesome," added starter Brian Matusz, who initially thought Olivo had hit a home run. "It was a good momentum thing because it put a smile on my face and it helped me relax a little bit and have fun."

With some family and friends in attendance, Jones -- who was traded from Seattle in 2008 -- said he had been working on making catches from different angles. He knew from the start of the warning track that it was about 2 1/2 steps until he would crash into the wall, so he turned, took a pair of steps and jumped without even looking at the ball.

"That was perfect," Jones said of his execution. "It's something that's really hard to replay in my mind. I remember doing it, but it's hard to put into words."

"Jones has been spoiling us with his play all year," manager Buck Showalter said. "On top of that he's had a great effort since day one of Spring Training."