Despite the rain on Monday, a Take 2 at Opening Day didn’t dampen the Detroit Tigers’ first game of the season. Justin Verlander was on fire and received more than enough run support, as the Detroit bats lit up Jose Quintana for three home runs en route to a 6-3 win over the White Sox.
JaCoby Jones made quite the entrance, and early. A second-inning home run gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead after an RBI double by the White Sox in the first had Detroit in an early hole. That’s as close as Chicago would get. The Tigers tacked on two more runs in that same inning thanks to a two-run homer by Nicholas Castellanos.
Another home run by Ian Kinsler in the fourth extended the lead to a comfortable margin. Contrary to Quintana’s effort, Verlander didn’t give Chicago much to play with. He wasted no time in lighting up the strike zone and gave up just two runs across 61⁄3 innings of work.
Verlander started the seventh with only 90 pitches and struck out Avisail Garcia on five pitches, but a lost eight-pitch battle with Omar Narvaez ended his day. Regardless, it was a solid performance. He had plenty of life on his fastball and hit the corners with ease. He was charged with two earned runs but one of those can be attributed in part to the Tigers’ defense.
JaCoby Jones: Knocked his first major league home run in the second inning to put the Tigers up 3-1 at the time. He also stole his first base in the sixth inning.
Nick Castellanos: Blasted a shot to left in the second and later walked.
Ian Kinsler: Homered in the fourth on a solo home run, securing the Tigers’ win. He also doubled in the ninth and walked in the seventh.
Justin Verlander: 61⁄3 innings, six hits, two runs (both earned), two walks, and 10 strikeouts on 102 pitches. Solid performance.
Outfield defense: In the third, a sharp grounder found its way between Justin Upton, JaCoby Jones, and Jose Iglesias. While no damage resulted on the scoreboard and it would’ve been a single anyway, the lack of communication wasn’t good. And in the sixth inning, Upton misread a scorched liner and it sailed over his head for a double.
Shane Greene: His appearance in the ninth inning didn’t last long. After 12 pitches, no outs, and two baserunners, manager Brad Ausmus pulled him in favor of closer Francisco Rodriguez.
STREAKS AND INFO:
- JaCoby Jones is the first Tigers rookie to hit a home run on Opening Day since Kirk Gibson in 1980 at Kansas City. He is also the first Tiger to hit his first career homer on Opening Day since Athletics’ John Sullivan in 1965 versus the Royals in Kansas City.
- Justin Verlander’s 10 strikeouts marked a career-high for Opening Day. His previous high was eight on March 31, 2011 against the Yankees. His 10 strikeouts are tied for the most by any Tigers pitcher on Opening Day (Mickey Lolich, 1966 and 1970; Jean Dubuc, 1914).
Ian Kinsler’s 6 total bases are most by a Tigers leadoff hitter on Opening Day since Roy Johnson in 1932 (7).— Austin Drake (@austin_drake) April 4, 2017
- Justin Upton left the game after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee and is day-to-day.
- The Tigers have won six straight season openers, a franchise record.
JaCoby Jones first HR of the year... pic.twitter.com/Roph1LEVNc— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 4, 2017
Opening Day recap!Posted by Bless You Boys: For Detroit Tigers Fans on Tuesday, April 4, 2017