Jackson wins White Sox debut, beats Tigers
It was his Chicago White Sox debut. It came in a pennant race. And it was against the team that traded him away last winter.
None of that bothered him.
Jackson allowed one run in seven-plus innings as the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1.
“I’m not worried about pitching against my old team, and I’m not worried about trying to impress anyone with my new team,” he said. “The people that run this team know I can pitch or they wouldn’t have traded me for me. I have one job—win games in the pennant race—and that’s what I did tonight.”
An All-Star with Detroit last season, Jackson also beat the Tigers earlier this year while pitching for Arizona. He was traded to the White Sox on July 30.
“He pitched very well, which we knew he could do,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “We had chances, but we never got the killer hit. A lot of that was because of him.”
“Letting him go out there for that inning was my mistake—he had been sitting too long,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He was throwing 98 (mph)—I didn’t know he threw that hard—but great pitching like that is the reason we got him.”
Guillen wasn’t the only one impressed by Chicago’s newest starter.
“If he pitches like that, we’re going to be in great shape,” said Paul Konerko(notes), who had a homer and two RBIs. “They got some flukey hits off him, but they weren’t hitting anything hard. He’s a great addition to our rotation.”
Detroit finished with 10 hits, but stranded 11 runners as they fell eight games behind Chicago in the AL Central, matching their biggest deficit of the season.
“It’s great to have opportunities, but someone has to drive them in,” Leyland said. “It isn’t going to be me—I was a career .233 hitter in the minor leagues—so these guys have to do it.”
Detroit’s only rally came after Jackson left. J.J. Putz(notes) walked Brennan Boesch(notes) and Jhonny Peralta(notes) lined out, but Brandon Inge(notes) hit an RBI single and the runners moved up when right fielder Andruw Jones(notes), who had come in that inning for defense, made a throw home that hit both the mound and Cabrera for an error.
Konerko gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.
Carlos Quentin(notes) extended Chicago’s advantage to 3-0 with a long homer in the fourth. His shot, estimated at 430 feet, became one of just a handful in Comerica Park’s 11 seasons to clear the first tier of seats beyond the left-field bullpens.
“Armando pitched well enough for us to have a shot at the game, but he got cautious a couple times and they killed him for it,” Leyland said. “There are times where he still doesn’t believe that his stuff is as good as it is.”
In the meantime, the Tigers had eight hits off Jackson in the first five innings, but couldn’t get a run.
Konerko’s homer made it 4-0 in the sixth.
“The way our pitching staff is going, we know that we’re going to win a lot of games if we can just score three or four runs,” Konerko said.
NOTES: The Tigers activated Inge from the 15-day disabled list before the game, and put rookie infielder Danny Worth(notes) on the DL with a bruised heel. Inge had been expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking his left hand on July 19, but was out for only 15 days and had three hits in his first game back. “We knew he would want to come back as soon as possible, but he looked good out there,” Leyland said. “He sure didn’t look limited in any way.” … The White Sox purchased the contract of reliever Chris Sale(notes) from Triple-A Charlotte. Sale, the 13th pick in June’s draft, became the first 2010 draftee to reach the majors. … Don Kelly(notes) was retired on a rare 2-1-3 strikeout in the seventh inning. He swung at a two-strike pitch in the dirt that bounced off C A.J. Pierzynski’s(notes) glove and toward the mound, where Jackson fielded it and threw to Konerko at first. … Jackson also won at Comerica Park on June 19 with the Diamondbacks.