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Jones exits game with knee injury

Jones exits game with knee injury

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DETROIT -- Add Jacque Jones to the list of Tigers injuries, and the left-field box seats as another area where no Tiger seems to be safe.

Detroit was already dealing with day-to-day injuries keeping Carlos Guillen and Gary Sheffield out of the lineup, but a hustle play for a foul ball left the roster even thinner. Jones suffered a left knee contusion on Thursday when he flipped over the railing separating foul territory from the seats down the left-field line.

X-rays taken Thursday were negative, and Jones is listed as day-to-day. But so are Guillen and Sheffield, meaning the Tigers could have just one healthy position player on the bench when they begin a three-game series against the Angels on Friday night.

"That's just the way it is," manager Jim Leyland said after the game. "You do what you have to do. If I have to play a pitcher out there, I'll play a pitcher out there if somebody gets hurt. You can't do anything about injuries. We're scuffling, and we'll just make the best out of the situation."

Jones suffered the injury chasing down a foul ball in the fourth inning. The ball tailed into the stands near the left-field corner, but Jones was running at full speed chasing it as he approached the knee-high fence.

"I was trying to slide," Jones said, "but I guess I was too close to the railing to get into [a slide]."

Instead, he was in a half-slide and trying to brace himself when his left knee and left wrist collided with the railing, flipping him over into some fans. He stayed there for a minute as Leyland jogged out from the dugout to check on him.

"He got smoked," Leyland said. "I'm not sure about him. He has a pretty bad contusion there on his knee and hurt his wrist."

Jones was more optimistic.

"I'll be fine," Jones said. "It's just my knee bruised."

The timing couldn't have been much worse. Jones is batting .222 for the season but had back-to-back two-hit games the previous couple nights, including his first home run of the season on Wednesday to go with a double and a triple on Tuesday.

Jones stayed in the game for his next at-bat in the bottom of the inning, but struck out on three pitches. Ryan Raburn moved from third base to left to replace Jones the next inning, with Ramon Santiago entering the game in Jones' lineup spot.

Understandably, Jones would like to be back in the lineup on Friday, but that depends on how he feels when he gets to the ballpark in the afternoon.

"It would be nice if I could come in and do the things that I'm capable of doing," Jones said.

Even if he can't, though, he has no regrets about the play.

"Our pitchers are out there busting their tail," he said, "so the least that I can do for them is bust my tail. ... That's the way I play. It's just the way it is. It happens that way sometimes."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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