Adam Jones leaves game after colliding with outfield fence; hopes to be in lineup Friday

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Orioles outfielder Adam Jones made an early exit from today’s game against the Royals as a result of colliding into the center field fence in the first inning. He stayed in the game initially before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the top of the third inning. You can watch the play here.

Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Jones underwent X-rays on both of his wrists, which came back negative. He’s also dealing with some neck stiffness. The plan calls for him to be examined by a doctor Friday, but he’s hoping to be back in the lineup for the first game of a crucial series against the Rangers.

“That’s one of  [the hardest hits I’ve taken],” said Jones, who was trying to make a play for Ben Zobrist’s first-inning double. “I don’t come out of the game much, especially once the game starts. I just wasn’t me. And hopefully I feel a lot better tomorrow.”

The Orioles lost 5-3 this afternoon and have dropped seven out of eight to fall to 63-64 on the year. They are 2 1/2 games back for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

Jones, 30, is batting .280/.319/.497 with 24 home runs and 66 RBI over 116 games this season.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.