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Jackson handling lower spot in lineup

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The first intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera this year preceded the latest clutch hit from Austin Jackson. But Tigers manager Brad Ausmus doesn't want to put any added pressure on his former leadoff hitter turned run producer.

"I just want Jackson to keep doing what he's doing," Ausmus said. "I'm not really concerned about where he's hitting. He looked like he did in Spring Training, very comfortable at the plate, very balanced."

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SAN DIEGO -- The first intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera this year preceded the latest clutch hit from Austin Jackson. But Tigers manager Brad Ausmus doesn't want to put any added pressure on his former leadoff hitter turned run producer.

"I just want Jackson to keep doing what he's doing," Ausmus said. "I'm not really concerned about where he's hitting. He looked like he did in Spring Training, very comfortable at the plate, very balanced."

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For all the questions about protecting Cabrera in the lineup, his first intentional walk came in the Tigers' ninth game of the year. It came on a night when Victor Martinez wasn't in the starting lineup batting behind him. Jackson picked up the slack Saturday with a two-run ground-rule double for two critical insurance runs in the ninth inning.

Though Jackson entered Sunday's series finale against the Padres batting .314 (11-for-35), the double was his first hit this year with runners in scoring position. He had been 0-for-9 with a sacrifice fly and four strikeouts.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

Detroit Tigers, Austin Jackson