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Adam Jones, Orioles Close First Half With Win

July 9, 2017
Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones hit two home runs, Ubaldo Jiménez pitched five innings and the Orioles won their final game before the all-star game, 11-5, over the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, Minn. July 9.

With the victory, Baltimore split its series with Minnesota and finished the first half of the season at 42-46.

The Orioles got off to a quick start thanks to Jones, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning. Baltimore added to its lead in the third inning when a double from catcher Caleb Joseph scored Hyun Soo Kim, and Joseph scored later in the inning with a single. 

Staked to a 5-0 lead, Jiménez's afternoon was nearly derailed in the bottom of the third. A hit batsman and a pair of two-out walks were followed by a run-scoring walk by Brian Dozier, a two-run single by Robbie Grossman and a run-scoring double by Max Kepler. His lead down to 5-4, Jiménez induced a groundout by Miguel Sanó to escape the inning. 

Jiménez retired nine of the next 11 hitters to finish off his 103-pitch outing and qualify for his fourth win of the season. Since rejoining the rotation last month, he's made five starts and won three. He finished the first half with a 6.67 ERA. 

Baltimore built its lead to 9-4 in the top of the sixth inning. Jones led off the inning with a homer, and Joseph later hit a two-run single to score designated hitter Mark Trumbo and first baseman Trey Mancini. Shortstop Ruben Tejada then doubled home Joseph for the Orioles' ninth run of the day. Tejada had three hits on the day.

The Orioles completed their scoring in the eighth. Third baseman Manny Machado, who went 9-for-19 in the four-game series, hit a run-scoring single and Jones completed a five RBI day with a sacrifice fly for Baltimore's 11th run.

The Orioles' bullpen allowed just one run in the final four innings of the ballgame, with lefty Richard Bleier covering 2 2/3 innings; right-hander Miguel Castro, a third of an inning; and lefty Zach Britton, the final three outs. 

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop will represent the Orioles in the MLB All-Star Game in Miami July 11. Baltimore will kick off a 10-game homestand after the all-star break when it hosts the Chicago Cubs July 14-16.