Garrett Jones pulled the baseball equivalent of a hat trick in Pittsburgh's 4-3 victory Monday night in San Diego, blasting a home run, making a great catch and throwing out a runner at home.
"Outstanding game for Garrett," manager Clint Hurdle said.
There have been a lot of those lately, and it explains why no one is talking about a platoon in right field anymore, given Matt Diaz's relative struggles.
Jones' home run, a two-run shot in the first inning, was his sixth of the season, with five of those coming during his 16-for-46 (.348), 11-RBI tear over the past 15 games that has raised his average to .280.
He made a sliding catch while sprinting toward the right field line in the fourth to rob Jason Bartlett of extra bases.
Then, in the fifth, he nailed the Padres' Brad Hawpe trying to score from third on a flyout to right. Jones' throw arrived to catcher Chris Snyder on one hop, and Snyder took the collision to make the tag and preserve a 4-0 lead.
"Big-time throw," pitcher James McDonald called it.
"We've seen that from Garrett before," Hurdle said. "He's got an arm, and he made an important play for us there. If we don't get that out, we could still be playing right now."
Jones had plenty of options, but he chose the throw as his favorite moment of the night.
"It feels good to do something like that for J-Mac, with how he was pitching," Jones said. "It's one of those plays where you feel good because it picks up the whole team."
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