The centerfield fence at Progressive Field is 400 feet from home plate. At both ends of that 400-foot spectrum Thursday night, Austin Jackson came through for Justin Verlander. In the batter's box, Jackson squeezed in a run to cap a three-run second inning that gave Verlander a 4-0 lead. That lead likely would have been gone in the sixth if not for Jackson's latest spectacular play. With one out and a runner on first, Carlos Santana drilled Verlander's pitch to center. Jackson retreated and made a leaping catch at the wall. It didn't appear the ball would have cleared the wall, but if Jackson hadn't caught it, Travis Hafner -- who doesn't have a lot of speed -- would have had a chance to score. Hafner was around second when Jackson made the catch. And Santana, representing the go-ahead run, would have been at second with one out, and the crowd would have been in a frenzy. In Verlander's previous start on this trip, Kansas City's Alex Gordon led off the first with a drive to center. Jackson reached above the fence to steal a homer. Verlander won by a run.
Austin Jackson's squeeze bunt, leaping catch key Tigers' win
Detroit Free Press | Aug 12