Austin Jackson hits, and good things usually happen. Especially when the defense steps up like Tuesday against the Royals.
|Final - 5.1.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Kansas City Royals||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||3||8||2|
|WP: Rick Porcello (2 - 2)
LP: Luke Hochevar (2 - 2)
A week ago, Austin Jackson was hitting .258 after another oh-for day at the plate. It was the fifth time in seven games the Tigers' leadoff batter failed to get a hit. He responded with a hit and walk the next game, but he was just starting to stir. Friday against the Yankees, he almost lifted the Tigers out of their losing streak with a four-hit day. Two of those hits went for extra bases, marking the first time a Tigers batter had four hits with two extra-base hits in New York since Bobby Higginson did it in 1997.
Just three games later, Jackson had another four-hit game. Twenty-three games into the season he's already accomplished the feat three times -- he did it just twice all of last year.
"He gets us going, there's no question about it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters during the Fox Sports Detroit post game.
It's no surprise that a big day by Jackson portends well for the Tigers. In two of the team's three highest-scoring games of the season, Jackson had four hits. Yet, a multi-hit game does not necessarily translate to the wins and losses column -- at least not so far. Jackson has had five multi-hit games, and the team is just 3-2 in them.
That's because the team needs pitching and defense, too, and hasn't gotten that on a daily basis. It got that tonight against the Royals.
Porcello allowed three runs while going eight innings. The Tigers turned a double play behind Porcello -- who forced 18 ground balls in the game. Prince Fielder started the the game off right with a diving stop in the first. The defense also assisted Porcello when the ball was in the air. Two of the most memorable plays came from a corner outfielder. Don Kelly made a running stab in the second on a slicing fly ball off the bat of Matt Moustakas before coming to a stop with a slide. Seemingly an instant replay came later as Kelly made another diving catch in the sixth, this time robbing Eric Hosmer. The right fielder, Brennan Boesch, got into the action in the eighth when he lost the ball but it found his glove safely for an out. And of course, Austin Jackson caught a ball that bounced off the padding on the fence in center field, saving it before it fell into the bullpen.
The Tigers had everything going for them tonight. But if they can get two of three components of the game working on any given night, that should be good enough for a good record at the end of the month.
Austin Jackson - 4 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI
Rick Porcello - 8 innings, 2 runs
Don Kelly - For showing us a left fielder can catch the ball in dramatic fashion -- in a good way.
1 MORE ROAR
Jim Leyland earned his 1,600th win as an MLB manager,
GAME 22 PLAYER OF THE GAME
Prince Fielder had 55% for his second POG win.
Tigers' Game 23 Player of the Game
Jackson (271 votes)
Porcello (122 votes)
Kelly (18 votes)
411 total votes