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Austin Jackson receives emotional send-off in Tigers’ 7-4 loss to White Sox

07/31/2014, 7:23pm EDT
By Detroit Free Press
Emotional send-off for Jackson in Tigers loss

Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson, right, is replaced by Rajai Davis against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning today in Detroit. ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT — That was one wild scene in the seventh inning Thursday at Comerica Park, even before Austin Jackson’s career with the Detroit Tigers came to an end by him being pulled from centerfield in the middle of an at-bat.

Jackson and left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly, who allowed 11 hits and four earned runs over five innings with no strikeouts for the Tigers, were traded as part of a three-team deal that brings David Price to Detroit from Tampa Bay. Jackson came out of the game and was replaced by Rajai Davis.

The Tigers entered the top of the seventh inning tied 4-4 with the White Sox. Joakim Soria, who hasn’t had a good outing yet in his three appearances with the Tigers since coming from the Rangers in a trade, hit Paul Konerko with the bases loaded, bringing home Adam Eaton to give the White Sox the lead.

The Tigers went on to lose, 7-4.

“It was a tough one,” Soria said. “I felt better today. I felt like I make good pitches.”

Eaton had advanced to first on a wild pitch, after striking out swinging at a curveball.

“It was meant to be in the dirt, you had two strikes, you had to make sure to throw the curveball down,” Soria said. “Unfortunately, it gets out of Alex (Avila’s) glove.”

Alexei Ramirez singled to left before Soria intentionally walked Jose Abreu. With one out, Soria hit Konerko to put the White Sox ahead.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus wouldn’t say it was a rough outing for Soria.

“I thought he threw the ball pretty well,” Ausmus said. “He gave up the one hit. … I know he gave up the run and he gave up that hit, but I felt it was a pretty good outing. I really did. I like what he saw.”

With reports swirling on Twitter that Jackson had been traded, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out of the dugout and pulled Jackson from center field.

Fans began clapping, realizing why Jackson was coming out of the game. Some gave him a standing ovation. Jackson hugged several teammates in the dugout.

“I knew what was happening, but at the same time I was in a daze a little bit,” Jackson said. “Wanted to go hug out my teammates really.

“One of those situations where, you don’t know what to do. You’re just like stuck.”

Jackson had gone 2-for-4 with an RBI before getting pulled from the game, giving him 15 multi-hit games in July. That’s the second-highest total by a Tiger in the month of July since 1969. Ron LeFlore had 16 in 1977.

The White Sox took a 7-4 lead in the eighth inning on an RBI single by Eaton and an RBI double by Alexei Ramirez off Joba Chamberlain.

The White Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Smyly gave up four consecutive hits: a single to Konerko, an RBI double to Gordon Beckham, an RBI single to Tyler Flowers and a single to Moises Sierra. Flowers came home for the third run when Eaton grounded into a force out.

The Tigers answered with two runs in the bottom of the second and two runs in the third. Eugenio Suarez hit a sacrifice fly to score J.D. Martinez and Jackon singled to center to score Nick Castellanos in the second.

With two outs in the third, Torii Hunter tied the game with a solo home run to left-center and Martinez followed with a home run to right. It was the fifth time this season the Tigers have hit back-to-back home runs. It was Hunter’s 15th home run of the season and the 14th for Martinez.

The White Sox tied the game, 4-4, in the fourth when Moises Sierra singled to center to score Konerko.

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