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Jones' heroics not enough as Tigers fall in 13

Carpenter earns another turn after solid outing
@ladsonbill24
May 25, 2019

NEW YORK -- If you talk to the Mets, they will say that Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones is a thorn in their side. After driving in a career-high four runs on Friday night, Jones collected two more hits and drove in the game-tying run against them Saturday, but the Tigers

NEW YORK -- If you talk to the Mets, they will say that Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones is a thorn in their side. After driving in a career-high four runs on Friday night, Jones collected two more hits and drove in the game-tying run against them Saturday, but the Tigers were edged, 5-4, in 13 innings at Citi Field.

The Tigers were down, 4-3, in the top of the eighth inning when Mets manager Mickey Callaway decided to let closer Edwin Diaz attempt a four-out save for the first time this season. It didn’t work. With Josh Harrison on third, Jones blooped a single in front of right fielder Aaron Altherr, sending Harrison home.

Box score

“I’m just trying to simplify things, slow things down, put a good swing on the ball and make contact,” Jones said. “Diaz throws 100 miles an hour. He has a pretty good slider. But he threw a fastball middle in, it got on me, but I put enough on it to get a hit.”

Jones had a chance to be a hero in the top of the 12th inning against left-hander Hector Santiago. The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out, but Jones struck out on three pitches and John Hicks flied out to end the threat.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job done when I had the bases loaded,” Jones said. "[Santiago] threw a changeup down and in. … And then he was coming with the fastball. He got me that time.”

The Mets ended the game in the bottom of the 13th inning as Tomas Nido homered off right-hander Buck Farmer to lead off the frame.

The Tigers ended up leaving 14 runners on base, which didn’t please manager Ron Gardenhire. By the time the game ended, the skipper had already emptied his bench. Had the game continued, Gardenhire was ready to use his pitchers as pinch-hitters. In the top of the 13th, left-hander Gregory Soto -- who was optioned to Triple-A Toledo after the game -- was in the on-deck circle when Nicholas Castellanos struck out to end the inning.

“We went through everything we possibly had -- all of our pitching, the whole package,” Gardenhire said. “We had our opportunities to get some big hits. So did the Mets. That’s what kind of always happens in an extra-inning game. Everybody is waiting for that one more big hit. The Mets finally got it at the end.”

Carpenter will get another start

Left-hander Ryan Carpenter was long gone by the time the game ended, but Gardenhire announced that Carpenter will get another start after pitching five solid innings and allowing two runs -- one earned -- in Saturday’s loss.

“I felt really good. ... It’s all starting to take effect. I’m getting the results,” said Carpenter, who was recalled from Triple-A on Saturday to make this start.

Carpenter retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced. The only hitter he didn’t retire in that span, Wilson Ramos, hit a deep drive over the left-field wall.

“[Carpenter] threw the ball great,” Gardenhire said. “That’s the best we’ve seen him throw. The ball came out of his hands. He made good adjustments. He did a nice job. He gave us an opportunity.”

Carpenter found himself in a dilemma in the fourth inning. After J.D. Davis reached base on an error by third baseman Dawel Lugo, Davis ended up going to third on two balk calls, as it appeared Carpenter may have been stopping and starting before throwing to the plate with men on base. In the process of delivering a pitch, pitchers are not permitted to take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset their pivot foot. If this occurs with one or more runners on base, the umpire can call a balk.

After that, Ramos singled home Davis. Carpenter then retired the next five hitters before leaving the game.

“That’s the first time that ever happened to me,” Carpenter said about the balks. “It was more confusion at first. … Obviously, you want to keep that guy off the bases.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.