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