Jones often rounds bases alone

Jones often rounds bases alone

DETROIT -- Despite having such surprising success once given the chance to play every day, Garrett Jones knew that there was still one knock against him by the time the 2009 season came to an end. That was, of course, the fact that with runners on base, Jones hardly ever produced.

Those numbers have gotten better this season, as there is no longer such a visible discrepancy between Jones' results with runners on base or not. Jones entered Sunday having hit .260 with the bases empty, .283 with at least one runner on, and .262 with runners in scoring position.

Last season, the contrast was much more stark. Jones finished '09 hitting .152 with runners in scoring position compared to .303 with the bases empty.

However, even though Jones' overall numbers have leveled out, the first baseman/right fielder does still have a knack for hitting most of his home runs with no one on. Jones' solo shot Sunday was his 10th long ball of the season. Six of those have come with no runners aboard.

Jones has now hit 31 homers since making his Pirates debut on July 1, 2009, and 21 have been of the solo variety. Only two other players -- Milwaukee's Prince Fielder (24) and Florida's Dan Uggla (22) -- have hit more solo shots since Jones' 2009 debut.