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Jones (left abdominal tightness) day to day

@beckjason
August 9, 2020

JaCoby Jones, whose offensive punch has made him one of the early-season surprises for the Tigers, left Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Pirates with left abdominal tightness following an awkward third-inning swing. Jones is considered day to day, according to the team. With the Tigers set to begin a three-game

JaCoby Jones, whose offensive punch has made him one of the early-season surprises for the Tigers, left Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Pirates with left abdominal tightness following an awkward third-inning swing.

Jones is considered day to day, according to the team. With the Tigers set to begin a three-game series against the sweet-swinging White Sox on Monday at Comerica Park, the injury puts a spotlight on center field as Detroit looks to cover the outfield gaps.

"He said he's had this for a week, so we're going to check him out tomorrow," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're calling it a day-to-day thing unless he comes in tomorrow really sore. But he said he's been dealing with some muscle strains or soreness since we came back."

Jones is off to a hot start this season, batting .333 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. His 1.168 OPS entering Sunday ranked best in the American League and fifth-best in the Majors, providing firepower from the bottom of Detroit’s batting order.

All the while, Jones has been working to fight off the injury bug. He missed part of Summer Camp with left oblique tightness but returned in time to be ready for Opening Day. More recently, he crashed into the wall for a catch and had an awkward slide into home plate in extra innings of Friday’s win over the Pirates and came up hobbling. He finished out that game and played all nine innings Saturday, hitting his fourth homer of the year.

Jones’ issue Sunday flared up on a foul tip as he reached for a slider. His reaction brought Gardenhire and head athletic trainer Doug Teter out of the dugout. Jones finished the at-bat with a weak swing on the next pitch, striking out on a breaking ball. Gardenhire met him in the dugout for a lengthy discussion as Jones seemingly tried to argue to stay in the game.

After that conversation, Harold Castro replaced Jones in center field for the bottom of the third. The Tigers have capable center fielders in Castro and Victor Reyes, but they could use Jones’ defensive prowess as they prepare for an aggressive upcoming White Sox lineup.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.