JaCoby Jones' two-run homer in ninth leads Detroit Tigers to 6-4 win over Reds

Carlos Monarrez
Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers’ bats came alive.

After managing a measly three hits on Opening Day, the Tigers put together 12 hits, including three home runs, in Saturday’s 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great America Ball Park.

JaCoby Jones hit the game-winner when he broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run homer off Raisel Iglesias in the ninth inning.

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Austin Romine also homered. But it was Miguel Cabrera's monster shot in the seventh inning that swung the momentum for the Tigers.

Cabrera had looked bad striking out swinging against flamethrowing starter Luis Castillo in his first three at-bats. But in the seventh, he hammered an 89-mph cutter up in the zone from Michael Lorenzen that gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead.

The home run was the 478th of Cabrera’s career, breaking a tie with Adrian Beltre for 30th in MLB history. It was also his 1,696th career RBI, moving him past Cal Ripken Jr. for 25th in MLB history.

Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning of the 6-4 win over the Reds at in Cincinnati, Saturday, July 25, 2020.

Reds catcher Curt Casali answered Cabrera’s shot with a solo homer off Tyler Alexander in the bottom of the seventh to tie at 4.

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Tigers right-hander Ivan Nova struggled his first two innings, when he gave up home runs on fastball mistakes down the middle to Joey Votto and Freddy Galvis as the Reds took a 3-1 lead. Nova allowed three earned runs in five innings before he yielded to lefty Tyler Alexander.

Miggy’s day

Before his homer, Cabrera had not looked anywhere near as sharp as he did during spring training. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the opener. He followed that with four more strikeouts Saturday, three swinging against Castillo on two changeups and a slider. 

Oh, Ks

The Tigers managed more hits but they also whiffed a ton. The struck out 17 times, with 11 strikeouts coming against Castillo.

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera reacts after striking out swinging in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati on Saturday, July 25, 2020.

Fast start

The Tigers took their first lead of the season when they scored in the first inning. After Jonathan Schoop hit a bloop single, C.J. Cron roped an RBI double down the left field line.

Unlucky 13

Nova is an efficient pitcher who’s good at eating innings and the first inning was a good example of that efficiency. He allowed a solo home run to Votto when he made a mistake on a 92-mph fastball down the middle, but in total he threw just 13 pitches in the inning — all strikes. He threw 73 pitches, with 42 for strikes in five innings.

Injury update

Victor Reyes pinch hit for right fielder Cameron Maybin in the eighth inning. Maybin left the game with a lower-body cramp.

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

Tigers pitcher Ivan Nova throws in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Saturday, July 25, 2020.