Relexad Jones pow­ers Tigers

The London Free Press - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

DETROIT — When Detroit out­fielder Ja­Coby Jones came to the plate in the sev­enth in­ning of a tie game Thurs­day af­ter­noon, he was well aware he was strug­gling at the plate after strik­ing out in his first two at-bats against the Twins.

He chose to fo­cus on some­thing else — the walkoff home run he hit against the Kansas City Roy­als nearly two months ago — and came through again. Jones hit Lance Lynn’s 3-1 fast­ball over the wall for the fi­nal two runs in Detroit’s 3-1 win.

“I knew I had some suc­cess in big lategame sit­u­a­tions ear­lier this year, so I tried to take some­thing from that,” said Jones, who was hit­ting .135 in his last 10 games. “I was just look­ing for a fast­ball I could drive. I’ve re­ally been press­ing, so I tried to be more re­laxed — the way I was ear­lier in the year when I hit that homer against the Roy­als. That’s the type of thing that can get you right out of a slump.”

Detroit won the last two games of the se­ries to im­prove to 23-17 at Comer­ica Park. The Tigers, who play their next eight games on the road, are 10-20 away from home.

“This is our place and we have done a great job of play­ing here,” Tigers man­ager Ron Gar­den­hire said. “Now we’ve got to take this mo­men­tum onto the road.”

Michael Ful­mer im­proved to 5-0 in five ca­reer starts against the Twins. He pitched seven in­nings, al­low­ing one run on five hits and a walk to end a three-start win­less streak.

“It’ s about time, ”Ful mer said .“Ev­ery­thing felt great out there. Even when they got a run in the first, it was off good pitches that were where I wanted them.”

Joe Jimenez pitched the eighth and Shane Greene threw the ninth for his 17th save.

Lynn took a shutout into the sev­enth but ended up al­low­ing three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out nine in 6⅔ in­nings.

“I wanted to pitch the sev­enth,” Lynn said. “When all is said and done, it is a loss. I need to be bet­ter next time.”

John Hicks led off the bot­tom of the sev­enth with his first ca­reer triple, a line drive to the right-cen­tre gap. Niko Goodrum fol­lowed with a sac­ri­fice fly to tie the game. With two out, Lynn hit Jose Igle­sias and Jones hit Lynn’s 114th and fi­nal pitch over the wall.

Detroit’s three-run sev­enth came one day after the Tigers scored four in the eighth in­ning of a 5-2 win.

“It is fun to watch th­ese guys play right now in the late in­nings,” Ful­mer said. “As a start­ing pitcher, I’d ap­pre­ci­ate a few more first-in­ning runs, but this is great.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Tigers out­fielder Ja­Coby Jones con­nects for a two-run homer dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning against the Min­nesota Twins at Comer­ica Park in Detroit on Thurs­day.

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