They haven’t had any opportunities to practice of late.
Jackson pitched into the eighth inning against his former team and the Diamondbacks snapped a franchise-record 14-game road skid with a 6-5 win over the surging Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
“It’s great to finally come into the clubhouse after a road game and hear music,” Jackson said before realizing no one had turned on the stereo. “OK, it is great to see guys smiling and happy instead of it seeming like a funeral.”
“I thought about walking him, but that kid (Brennan Boesch(notes)) is hitting the ball pretty well, too,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “If Aaron had gotten behind in the count, we probably would have walked Cabrera, but we didn’t need to do that.”
Mark Reynolds(notes) and Miguel Montero(notes) homered for Arizona, which earned its first road win since May 17 at Florida. Reynolds had two hits and two RBIs, making up for a pair of errors at third base.
“It has been a long time since we’ve won a game in gray uniforms,” Hinch said. “We really needed this.”
Jackson (4-6) allowed four runs, three earned, and nine hits in 7 2-3 innings. Heilman finished for his first save in three opportunities.
Jackson, who also earned Arizona’s previous road win, played down the personal significance of beating the team that dealt him away during the offseason.
“Those guys are my friends, but when we go between the lines, they are trying to hit me and I’m trying to get them out,” he said. “I’ve got their phone numbers—I can call them tonight and we’ll be friends again.”
Jackson got off to a slow start. After four batters, the Tigers led 1-0 and had the bases loaded with no outs. But the right-hander struck out Boesch and got Carlos Guillen(notes) to ground into an inning-ending double play.
“That saved the game,” Jackson said. “With Detroit’s lineup, they could have blown us out right there.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was more disappointed in the first inning than Detroit’s failed rally in the ninth.
“Everyone will want to talk about the ninth, but it was the first inning that really hurt us,” he said. “We had the guys we wanted up there, but Boeschy struck out and Carlos put a good swing on the ball and it turned into a double play.”
Rick Porcello(notes) (4-7) gave up five runs, four earned, in 5 1-3 innings for Detroit, which had won seven straight. The 21-year-old right-hander dropped to 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA in his last four games.
“The results weren’t very good, but I feel like I’ve got something to build on,” he said.
Arizona scored four times in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. Montero led off with his second homer in as many days and No. 2 on the year.
Porcello got Chris Young to line out to center before Adam LaRoche(notes) doubled and Reynolds walked. Fu-Te Ni(notes) then came in and Geraldo Parra greeted the left-hander with a two-run triple to center. Chris Snyder(notes) added a sacrifice fly off Enrique Gonzalez(notes).
“Montero wasn’t a bad pitch—he just put a good swing on it—but I made a bad pitch to LaRoche and then I lost Reynolds,” Porcello said. “Until that inning, I thought I was making good pitches.”
Both starters were hurt by defensive mistakes. Reynolds’ first-inning error helped the Tigers take a 1-0 lead, and Detroit left fielder Brennan Boesch dropped a fly ball in the second, helping Arizona score two runs.
NOTES: A 17-story-high cell-phone advertisement on a building just beyond the right-field fence was torn down by 70-mph winds that hit the park shortly after Friday night’s game. … Tigers CF Austin Jackson(notes) (back) missed his fifth straight game, and C Gerald Laird(notes) (neck) sat out for the second night in a row. … Heilman’s last save came for the Cubs on Aug. 1, 2009. … As part of a radio-station promotion, a couple held their wedding on the field after the game.