NEW YORK -- Banged-up center fielder Adam Jones was out of the Baltimore lineup Tuesday night, but still managed to track down some balls and make a perfect relay to his young fans.
A sore right shoulder kept Jones from starting at Yankee Stadium. So he took up a perch in the Orioles' third-base dugout, leaning on a railing near the box seats toward the home plate side.
After New York batted in the bottom of the first inning, four children -- two of them in Oriole orange -- wandered over from several sections away and stood in the stands about 30 feet from Jones, hoping he would notice them.
Jones soon saw the group, held up his hand and told them to wait a moment. But when play resumed in the top of the second, the four kids returned to their seats behind the backstop.
A minute later, Jones had four shiny, new baseballs in his hand, but no one to give them to. Persistent, he kept scanning the stands and eventually spotted them.
Jones then summoned a security guard and handed him the souvenirs. The guard gave them to an usher, who walked over and presented them to the excited kids before the bottom of the second.
Smiling, the kids waved to Jones. He smiled and waved back -- another nice play for a guy who ranks among the major league leaders in assists.
Before the game, Jones said he was surprised to see he wasn't starting against the Yankees. He said he felt well enough to play but instead would get a day off to rest.
"I didn't really ask him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I know what he's going to say."
"Hopefully, he'll be back tomorrow," he said.
Jones exited Monday's 8-6 loss at Yankee Stadium after aggravating his sore shoulder making a throw. He's also dealing with a sore right wrist.
"There's a lot of things hurting," he said, adding he wanted his body to heal for this season and beyond.
Baltimore activated shortstop J.J. Hardy from the 15-day disabled list and put him in the lineup. He had been out since Aug. 24 because of a strained left groin. He is hitting .222 with seven homers and 32 RBIs.
The Orioles recalled outfielder Dariel Alvarez from Class A Frederick. He made his big league debut Aug. 28 and has played four games with Baltimore.
Baltimore won 2-1 Tuesday night after losing 15 of their previous 18 games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.