Jackson jacks first home run of career
Rookie leads off Sunday's game with blast to center
ARLINGTON -- Austin Jackson's first Major League home run came with all the bells and whistles, except for a Tigers victory.
The blast led off Sunday's game, an 8-4 loss to Texas, and came at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, 20 miles from his hometown of Denton, so his family and many of his friends were in the park. A Rangers fan threw the ball back on the field, so Jackson said he was eventually going to get the ball back, even though he didn't have it yet after the game.
The rookie even got the silent treatment from his teammates as he came back into the dugout. In fact, he was halfway to the other end of the dugout when his teammates finally mobbed him.
"I was still thinking about the pitch, and then I realized that I hadn't gotten a handshake or a high five," Jackson said. "Then they finally came up and congratulated me."
Jackson's first home run came on a 2-0 fastball from Colby Lewis. It went to center field, landing on the burm know as Greene's Hill.
Jackson said he didn't feel like he got all of it, but he saw Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon going back on it before the ball landed on the green grass.
"I squared up on it pretty well," Jackson said. "It's always special to get that first home run. It's even more special when you do it in front of your family and friends."
Jackson finished the game 2-for-4, and started the day looking like he might make a run at the cycle, smacking a double down the right-field line in his second at-bat. But he struck out in the fourth and grounded into a double play in the seventh.
Still, it was a special day.
"He had a double and a home run," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's pretty good."
It was actually Jackson's second home run in this ballpark. He hit one to left field five years ago for Denton Ryan High School in a game against Carrollton Newman Smith.
His first Major League home run is more meaningful, though, as much as that homer meant at the time.
Jackson said when he gets the ball, he'll give it to his parents.
"I'll send it home with them," he said.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.