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Detroit Tiger’s outfielder JaCoby Jones was so angry that he didn’t speak to anyone for an hour.

He had just been hit by a 150 km / h ball from Kyle Zimmer, the starter of the Kansas City Royals.

A similar hit-by-pitch occurred in 2017, and a hit-by-pitch in 2019 gave him a broken wrist, so he’s now wearing protective face protection on his helmet. That saved him from another serious injury.

But Jones was still not pleased.

[ Making sense of Royals’ six-man outfield vs. Tigers’ Cabrera ]

“It’s just shit,” he said. “It’s kind of scary. If you throw up and punch someone in the helmet, it can be life-threatening and dangerous.”

On Wednesday, Jones had the Royals paid for throwing high and hard against him the night before. In the seventh inning, he went 3: 3 with the Homer who won the game and brought the Tigers (4: 2) to a 5: 4 victory. He is now 8-for-19 (.421) in 2020, with three home runs and six RBIs.

“Had to pay them back a little bit,” said Jones. “I can only see the ball very well on the plate and I have to hold it. Stay in me and keep dragging. The game isn’t over until it’s over.”

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If there is someone who understands this concept, it is Jones. It is durable, fearless and always ready to be in the spotlight. Last season, he cut 88 games with 11 homers and 26 RBIs .235 / .310 / .430. From time to time, the 28-year-old tries to take the next step in his career with a little anger – everything from ninth place in the order.

“It’s rolling to the top of the order,” said Tiger’s manager Ron Gardenhire. “And you have multiple chances of getting runs, but JaCoby just seems to put it on the seats. I’ve always said a nine-hole hitter is like a one-hole hitter. You need someone to get to the bottom is coming, and he’s really fine. “

His first home run of the season took place on Saturday in the ninth inning against Cincinnati Reds closer to Rasiel Iglesias. Two failed attempts at Bunt prepared him for Homer on the left, who gave Detroit his first win of the season.

[ Tigers’ biggest boost on Saturday: JaCoby Jones’ missed bunts ]

The next day, in the fifth inning, Jones saved right-handed Spencer Turnbull from allowing a run by hitting the midfield wall to rob Red’s catcher Curt Casali of extra bases.

“It can really cover some ground,” said Gardenhire. “He has these special athletic skills and he has the special talent to be able to go to the wall without being afraid of the wall.”

[ Detroit Tigers’ biggest boost on Saturday: JaCoby Jones’ missed bunts ]

Gardenhire originally held him out with a painful back from the masterful catch on Monday’s lineup, but Jones had other ideas. He didn’t like the thought of Victor Reyes taking his place, at least not when he felt overwhelmed.

“He came in to my office like John Wayne,” said Gardenhire, “and said to me, ‘I’m good. I can do that.’

“So, like the great managers, I changed my lineup and used it.”

The decision to listen to his midfielder paid off when Jones scored a triple home run in the second to give the Tigers a 4: 1 lead, despite losing 14: 6 thanks to a bullpen implosion.

And then Jones came to Wednesday, excited by the rage after his fall. Against the Royals-Reliever Ian Kennedy Jones worked his way into a seven-pitch duel: cutter, cutter, fastball, fastball, change, cutter.

The next field was a fastball at 150 km / h, just like the field with which Zimmer hit him. This time Jones hit.

[ Tigers’ Norris nearing return. But as a starter or reliever? ]

“I was off-speed in every seat,” said Jones. “My hands are fast enough to stay in me and I can get to them, so sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I waited for one, but he never threw it.

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“My hands are fast enough that I have just reacted and put in a good swing.”

A Really Good momentum, enough to send the ball 370 feet and bring the Tigers two games over 500, with 10% of the 60-game season on the books.

“I just have to get out of the gate hot,” he said.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.