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Jackson's diving grab saves the day

The Sports Xchange

It wasn't "The Catch," but it certainly was "A Catch," and a very important one at that.

Austin Jackson is giving Detroit the best long-term center field play since the days of Mickey Stanley (1964-78), and the current occupant has a case for being better by dint of superior speed.

Stanley seldom left his feet to make a catch, simply because he didn't have to. His route to the ball was always straight and true.

Same thing for Jackson, although he astonished witnesses when he left his feet in the 10th inning Wednesday to make a game-saving catch of what looked to everybody to be an RBI double or triple into the gap in right-center.

Probably a triple, since the hitter was fleet Toronto rookie Anthony Gose.

"I couldn't see him at first," Alex Avila said. "I thought the ball was in the gap. Suddenly he was in my field of vision. He never has to dive for a catch, and he just came out of nowhere."

The ball was hit with a runner on second and one out in the 10th inning of a 2-2 game.

Jackson is like Miguel Cabrera in that the next time he boasts about something he does on the baseball field will be the first.

"I was shading him a little to left-center," Jackson said. "It was one of those situations. If the ball drops, he's probably going to score. I made a dive, and it was successful. I knew it was going to be close."

Octavio Dotel got the third out, after a steal of third, on a fly ball into right field foul territory, and Detroit went on to win 3-2 in the 11th on a two-out, RBI single by Avila.

"That's one of the best ones I've seen him make," manager Jim Leyland said. "All of a sudden, out of nowhere he came."

Jackson came up throwing and almost doubled the runner off second. It kept the game alive until Detroit could win it in the bottom of the 11th.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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