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« Zack Greinke to get elbow examination and more top stories | Main | Inside J-Hey's Bounceback Season »

Jones Hangs Tough with 2 Strikes, Helps Team USA Advance

Team USA avoided its earliest ever exit from the World Baseball Classic on Sunday, thanks to Adam Jones' two-strike slugging. Jones smacked a 1-2 slider from Canada's Jim Henderson into the left-center gap at Chase Field in the eighth inning, putting the Americans on top for good and punching their tickets to Miami for round 2 of the WBC. Jones' two-strike heroics shouldn't have come as a surprise, as the O's center fielder is one of the best in the game with his back against the wall. Consider:

  • Overall, major leaguers batted .186 in two-strike counts in 2012. Jones bested that by over 50 points, hitting .239 when he didn't have a strike to spare.
  • Jones' two-strike hits weren't weak, either. He ranked ninth among MLB hitters with a .398 slugging percentage in two-strike counts. That was over 110 points above the big league average (.287).

 Average MLB slugging percentage with 2 strikes, by pitch location

Jones' slugging percentage with 2 strikes, by pitch location

  • With 11 two-strike homers, Jones tied Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, Giancarlo Stanton and a few others for ninth among MLB hitters.

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