Jones trying to ride out hot streak

Jones trying to ride out hot streak

PITTSBURGH -- So what's gotten into Garrett Jones?

Sure, the Pirates maintained high expectations for the slugging 28-year-old coming into the season. However, those didn't include three home runs in his first five season at-bats. Yet, such has been reality.

"I'm feeling good, feeling relaxed," Jones said. "I'm using my hands and seeing the ball pretty good. I know there's going to be ups and downs all year, but you try and stay in that zone as long as you can. You battle even when you're not feeling too good. Right now, I'm feeling OK."

With those three homers in the team's first two games, Jones entered Thursday's series finale with a Major League-best six RBIs. Only Toronto's Vernon Wells had him matched with three home runs in two games.

"He's a little more comfortable," manager John Russell said when asked if there has been any noticeable difference between Jones this year as compared to last. "He went through Spring Training knowing he's on the club, so he's probably a bit more relaxed than he was last year."