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|Long after the Detroit Tigers broke the game open Rams Elite Jerseys , JaCoby Jones made the play of the day. Maybe even the play of the year in the Comerica Park outfield.
Jones’ twisting, backhanded catch in the sixth inning took a home run away from Adrian Beltre in Detroit’s 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
The Tigers scored all their runs in the first, chasing Cole Hamels before that inning was over. It was still 7-0 when Jones made his spectacular catch in left-center field.
Beltre’s drive was headed toward the Texas bullpen, but Jones came over from center and jumped, reaching over the wall with his left hand and backhanding the ball. Jones’ momentum spun him around a bit, and he fell forward onto the ground, holding on for the out.
”You have to time it,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”As you saw, his whole arm went over the fence, and he snagged it behind. It’s a timing thing, and you have to be athletic to be able to do some of those things.”
Jones did not stay in the clubhouse to talk to reporters afterward.
Hamels (4-8) retired only two batters for the Rangers in his shortest start since 2010.
Mike Fiers (6-5) allowed a run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six with one walk.
Rougned Odor hit a solo homer for Texas immediately after Beltre was robbed by Jones. Shin-Soo Choo doubled twice for the Rangers to extend his on-base streak to 46 games, tying Julio Franco’s club record set in 1993.
Niko Goodrum had four hits for the Tigers.
Nicholas Castellanos opened the scoring with a solo homer with one out in the first. John Hicks added an RBI single, and Jose Iglesias hit an infield single with two outs and the bases loaded to make it 3-0.
Hamels still would have made it out of the inning, but center fielder Delino DeShields misplayed a line drive by Jones for an error , allowing three more runs to score.
”It just knuckled on me,” DeShields said. ”I was trying to stay with it, but it swerved on me at the last second. It’s frustrating, because you are doing everything you can to make the play, but he hit it right on the screws and right at me, and that’s when a ball will take off on you.”
Mikie Mahtook followed with an RBI double, and Hamels was replaced after allowing five hits, two walks and three earned runs. He threw 41 pitches.
It was the shortest start for Hamels since June 1, 2010, when he also lasted two-thirds of an inning for Philadelphia at Atlanta. That start was shortened because of a rain delay.
Hamels had gone at least five innings in each of his first 17 starts this year.
”By the time he gave up the double, he was pushing 40 pitches, and that’s my limit,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ”Once you get to 40 in one inning, you are pitching fatigued, and it is too much of a risk to leave him out there. I’m not going to do that to one of my pitchers.”
ON A ROLL
Goodrum had his second four-hit game in a week. He also went 4 for 4 at Toronto on July 1.
He’s hitting .464 (13 for 28) over his last seven games.
”I didn’t know that,” he said. ”The only stats I can see is what they show on the board of everyone.”
Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus appeared to foul a pitch off his left leg in the fifth but remained in the game. He was taken out in the eighth.
Michael Fulmer (3-7) takes the mound for Detroit against Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2) in the series finale Sunday.
The future is back.
Twenty years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Seattle Mariners‘ marketing department put on one of the most memorable promotions in franchise history — which is saying a lot, since Funny Nose Glasses Night in 1982 drew more fans than Gaylord Perry’s 300th win two nights earlier — with Turn Ahead the Clock Day.
Instead of wearing retro uniforms like most teams do for Turn Back the Clock Day, the Mariners imagined what things might look like in 2027, when they will celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The Kingdome was turned into the “Biodome.” A DeLorean drove actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on “Star Trek Chargers Elite Jerseys ,” to the mound to deliver the ceremonial first pitch.
The Mariners’ Moose mascot was replaced by Marty the Mariners Martian. Griffey was referred to as “Digit 24” instead of his last name by the public-address announcer.
Player positions were called quadrants. And the Mariners and their opponent that night, the Kansas City Royals, wore futuristic, untucked uniforms that Griffey, the Hall of Fame center fielder, helped design.
According to Kevin Martinez, the marketing director for the Mariners in 1998, it was Griffey’s idea to change the Mariners’ colors from navy, teal and white to crimson, black and silver. Junior wore his hat backward and spray-painted his glove and spikes silver.
“There were always some surprises,” Griffey recently told The Athletic. “You never knew what was going to happen that night. It was like, ‘Stay tuned.'”
Twenty years later, the Mariners and Royals will reprise Turn Ahead the Clock Night when they meet Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is certainly looking to the future after making his season debut in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Mariners.
Bonifacio missed the first 80 games of the season while serving a Major League Baseball suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug in spring training.
“I’m so excited to be back with the team,” said Bonifacio, who batted .255 and hit 17 home runs as a rookie last season.
Bonifacio batted .392 in 13 games for Triple-A Omaha before being activated. He batted fifth Friday, going 0-for-3.
“We’re glad to have him back,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was swinging very well (at Omaha).
“I mean, the kid hit 17 homers last year. … Yeah, he was going to hit in the middle of the order, until all this surfaced.”
Bonifacio played left field Friday to give Alex Gordon a day off, but likely will be in right field Saturday.
“We are going to move him around. He’s going to play,” Yost said. “He’s going to play some right, play some left. What difference does it make?”
On the mound, right-handers Jason Hammel of the Royals (2-9, 5.34 ERA) and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (7-6, 5.10) will be looking for vintage performances.
Hammel, who won 15 games for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs in 2016, has lost four straight starts — in which the Royals have scored a total of five runs. The graduate of South Kitsap High School in nearby Port Orchard, Wash., is 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA in eight career appearances against Seattle, including seven starts.
Hernandez, the American League’s 2010 Cy Young Award winner, is 6-6 with a 3.15 ERA in 15 career starts against the Royals. That includes an 8-3 victory on April 10 in Kansas City in which he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
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