Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/20/12
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The simplest solution for the Pittsburgh Pirates' offensive needs would be to believe in Garrett Jones.

Not only is the big right fielder up to .273 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI, but he's also .299 at cleanup and -- get this -- 5 for his past 8 against lefties. The latter is a striking figure for a guy who recently ended a hitless streak of 21 at-bats vs. left-handers.

Trouble is, Jones' streaks and slumps tend to match. Very high, very low. In the past two seasons, he's had full months of batting .179, .183 and .206. Also, his walks are dramatically down this summer, from a total of 48 last year to eight so far this year. It takes quite a leap of faith to suggest he's found his strike zone and will continue pounding the ball.

For now, though, Jones is a blast. In the Pirates' most recent game Wednesday in Colorado, a 9-6 victory, he homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs.

"I'm really just keeping things basic," Jones said. "See the ball, hit the ball, stay within myself. There really isn't too much to the process when I'm going like this."

GM Neal Huntington still will do well to continue looking for corner outfield help. If he finds it, Jones, who also plays first base, could be a powerful weapon off the bench or in platoon duty with first baseman Casey McGehee.

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