25 May

contact … impact

JaCoby Jones has made changes in his approach at the plate, simplifying his swing in an effort to make more contact. It has been, from all indications, a slow process for the former Mr. Baseball from Richton High. Maybe he had a breakthrough on Friday. Jones went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run and a late tie-breaking double to help Detroit snap a nine-game losing streak with a 9-8 win over the New York Mets at windy CitiField. Jones, whose defensive skills in center field have kept him in the lineup, has 10 hits in his last 44 at-bats with three homers and seven RBIs over 15 games. For the year, the 27-year-old is at .183 with five homers and 11 RBIs. He hit .207 with 11 homers in 2018. Jones said in a postgame TV interview on Friday that he is feeling more confident. “I’m just trying to be impactful,” he said. That he was on Friday, with the 447-foot homer off Noah Syndergaard in the second inning and then the clutch two-run double in the seventh that gave the Tigers a 9-7 lead. Jones can also steal a bag (13 last season), though that aspect of his game depends on reaching base. He has just two steals in 37 games this year. P.S. Watch for it: In St. Louis tonight, it’s Atlanta’s Mike Soroka vs. the Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson in a matchup of young pitchers with electric stuff. Soroka, who starred for the Mississippi Braves in 2017, leads the National League in ERA with a 1.01 and is 5-1. Hudson, the former Mississippi State star, is 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA for St. Louis and is coming off one of his best starts of the season, a win vs. Texas.

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