Thursday, Jones matched his age with his 40th career multi-home run game. His second homer of the night traveled 437 feet, his longest since Aug. 31, 2011, off John Lannan (also 437 feet).
Elias tells us Jones is just the fifth player in Braves history, dating back to 1876, to have a multihomer game at age 40 or older. The others? Babe Ruth (1935, 3 HRs), Hank Aaron (1974), Darrell Evans (twice in 1989) and Julio Franco (at age 46 in 2005).
Plus, among players 40 or older whose primary position was third base, Jones' .315 batting average would be the highest in the live ball era. He's currently ahead of two Hall of Famers in Luke Appling and Wade Boggs.
Highest Batting Avg by 3rd Basemen
Age-40 Season or Older in Live Ball Era
It’s been quite a season for Jones, whose two blasts put him ahead of Dave Winfield for 32nd place on the all-time list.
They also gave him 2,700 career hits, good enough for fifth-most among active players.
Elias says the Pirates didn’t have a home run with two or three runners on base in their first 46 games this season but have had 21 three-run or grand slam home runs in their past 72 games, five more than any other major league team since May 27.
Thursday marked Garrett Jones’ fifth multihomer game of his career. His first-inning home run came off a changeup from Joe Blanton, a pitch he has had success against this season.
Garrett Jones is hitting .340 in at-bats ending with changeups, including six home runs, tied for second-most in the majors.
It’s been a season of change for the Pirates given they are 12 games above .500 and holding on the second NL wild-card spot. After all, the Pirates haven’t had a winning season or made the playoffs since 1992.
The Pirates also haven’t had a 15-game winner since Todd Ritchie in 1999. The 12-year drought tied the longest in major league history with the Rays from 1998-2009.
Highest Team Win Percentage
Individual Starters in Team History
That all changed Thursday thanks to A.J. Burnett, who recorded his second 15-win season of his career and first since 2008, when he won 18 games.
The Pirates are now 18-4 in Burnett's 22 starts this season, giving them a win percentage of just under 82 percent.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that would tie the highest single-season mark by any starter in Pirates franchise history.