Tigers' Jones exits with back stiffness: 'It's nothing'

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers' JaCoby Jones launched a two-run home run in the third inning in Saturday's win.

Detroit — JaCoby Jones had an eventful night Saturday, and he only played five innings.

He hit a two-run home run in the third inning, which provided the margin in the Tigers' 2-1 win over the Indians. 

Then in the fifth, he walked and stole second base. He got such huge jump against Indians starter Mike Clevinger, he stole the base standing up — no slide, and catcher Roberto Perez made the throw to second. 

But it tipped the Tigers' bench that something might be wrong. 

"We watched him run," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was bending over and trying to stretch out. Leonys Martin walked by and said he thought (Jones') back was tight."

Gardenhire immediately pulled him from the game.

"It was pretty tight before the game and it gradually got tighter," Jones said. "Gardy took me out as a precaution. It's nothing."

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Jones adamantly protested coming out of the game, to no avail.

"People thought I didn't slide because I was hurt, but I didn't slide because I didn't need to," Jones said. "I didn't want to get taken out of the game. I can play through injuries. But Gardy just said, 'Go get treatment.' 

"He didn't even ask me questions. He just told me to go get treatment. I was upset. But we got the 'W,' so it's all good."

Gardenhire did ask him a question, though. He wanted to know why he didn't slide.

"He was not happy that we took him out of the game," Gardenhire said. "I asked him why he didn't slide into second base and he said, 'I had the best jump I've ever had in my life, why would I slide?'

"That's JaCoby. But, next time, slide."