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Guardians' Nolan Jones doubles in run in first at-bat, Austin Hedges activated

Akron Beacon Journal
Akron Beacon Journal
 2022-07-08

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Nolan Jones didn't waste any time in introducing himself to Guardians fans on Friday in his major league debut with the team.

The Kansas City Royals walked off 4-3 on a one-out base hit by Michael Taylor to right in the bottom of the ninth, but Jones, a second round pick in the 2016 draft, had a night to remember.

And the former top prospect in the Guardians organization didn't wait long in creating a lasting memory.

He jumped on a 1-1 pitch from Brady Singer in the second inning and roped a two-out double down the right-field line to score Owen Miller and give the Guardians an early one-run lead.

"I thought he did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "He swung the bat very well. ... I'm sure his heart was beating a beat or two. I thought he swung the bat very well, though."

Starting in right field and batting seventh, Jones' memorable night continued with a base hit to center field in the seventh before he was lifted for pinch runner Oscar Mercado.

The versatile Jones finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.

"I just want to go out there and enjoy every moment," he told Bally Sports Great Lakes. "I've got my family here. They've been with me through everything. ... They have always supported me and all my siblings.

"I have all my siblings here, so I just want to go out there and have fun. This is a dream come true for me. It's something I've wanted my entire life, so I'm going to soak this first one in and then we start getting to work."

Friday's performance was just more of the same for an oft-injured Jones, who has absolutely torn it up this season at the minor league level.

In 23 games with the Class AAA Columbus Clippers, Jones batted .311.

He socked three home runs, drove in 25 runs and also scored 21 times.

Jones, 24, had a .917 OPS with 10 extra-base hits with the Clippers.

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Guardians make more moves

Jones wasn't the only transaction the Guardians made prior to the series opener against the Royals.

Catcher Austin Hedges was activated off the seven-day injured list and Sandy Leon was designated for assignment.

Hedges returned after going on the injured list with a concussion retroactive to June 26.

He is batting .156 this season with five home runs and 15 RBIs. Hedges got the start against the Royals and was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and stranded two base runners.

Leon was 2-for-15 (.133) with the Guardians this season. He didn't score or drive in a run.

The Guardians also optioned outfielder Richie Palacios to Columbus to make room for Jones and Hedges.

Palacios batted .250 in 39 games with the Guardians and had five doubles and 10 RBIs.

In another move, the Guardians traded relief pitcher Yohan Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.

Ramirez is 1-0 this season with a 6.97 ERA. He struck out 11 batters in 10⅓ innings and had a 1.65 WHIP.

He had been designated for assignment on July 4 before the trade.

Contact Brad Bournival at bbournival@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @bbournival.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Guardians' Nolan Jones doubles in run in first at-bat, Austin Hedges activated

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