{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] }

Jones building on last year's success

|
Jones building on last year's success play video for Jones building on last year's success

CHICAGO -- After experiencing his first loss as a big leaguer Friday night behind eight victories, Nate Jones was back on the mound Saturday afternoon against the Mariners. Manager Robin Ventura wasn't consciously trying to get Jones back in action following his first loss in 67 appearances, as much as the situation called for his entrance.

"I wouldn't mind [starter Dylan] Axelrod going the whole way," said a smiling Ventura. "But you look at what he did last year and you want to get him back in there as soon as possible. The situation had to dictate to get him in there and it did."

Jones has allowed three runs over 2 1/3 innings this season after being one of the surprise players to break camp with the 2012 White Sox and then turning in one of the more under-the-radar successful campaigns for any American League reliever. But don't try to tell Jones that he's now established following his 8-0 effort and 2.28 ERA from 2012.

"I wouldn't say more established. I would say more experienced," Jones said. "I was lucky enough last year to go through it all. So, you know I'm going to take that experience from last year and learn from it. I want to keep that same mentality that I've always got to be fighting and improving myself."

Jones, who touched 100 mph during Spring Training, said his Arizona focus was on maintaining that same confidence level from last year. He found big league success before and knows he can do it again, pumping in strikes and letting the defense do its thing.

He also hasn't lost that special feeling from his first Opening Day, and the feeling from the challenge that followed.

"Maybe the nerves have gone away a little bit for now," said Jones, who will have plenty of late-inning chances after starting last year in middle relief. "But the excitement sure as heck hasn't gone away. I want to go out there and prove the same thing, that I can get guys out."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español