SAN DIEGO -- Hitting one ball out of pitcher-friendly Petco Park is quite a feat. Hitting two out in one game, including one to dead center, is nearly Herculean.
But that's precisely what Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones did on Tuesday night, with two game-tying homers, no less.
"It was very impressive, that's a big-time night," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "To answer late, two runs down, hit a ball out of this ballpark -- he hit two of them late at night, which is hard to do."
That two-run homer came with two outs in the top of the ninth with the Pirates one out away from a 5-3 loss. Jones ripped a Dale Thayer offering to dead center to bring the Bucs back. His first homer came in the sixth off Padres starter Jason Marquis, who had held Jones to one hit in 13 career at-bats against him coming into Tuesday.
"His numbers off Marquis weren't good, but I didn't want to take him out of the lineup," Hurdle said. "He said he was going to make some adjustments, and obviously he did."
"He obviously has a good sinker, and I've had a lot of ground-ball outs where I've been rolling over the ball," Jones said of his career against Marquis. "I just tried to really stay through the ball a little better, stay through up the middle of the field, drive it up the middle."
It worked pretty well, as Jones was 2-for-2 with a walk and a single off Marquis to go with his home run. All told, Jones was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the game, a great night by any standard, but one in keeping with the kind of month -- and season -- the 31-year-old is having.
Jones is hitting .368 in August coming into Wednesday's game, with five homers and 20 RBIs. The two homers on Tuesday pushed Jones to 21 on the season, already tying his career high, and his .287 average has him within striking distance of his best number to date, a .293 mark in 2009.
"It feels a lot better when you're doing well and the team's winning," Jones said of his strong season. "Where we're at now -- to be able to do well and help the team do that, contribute -- it makes it very special. To have a winning season right now and kind of having one of my better seasons makes it more special."