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Jackson gives D-backs reason to celebrate

Jackson gives D-backs reason to celebrate

ST. PETERSBURG -- Fresh off his no-hitter Friday, even with some shaving-cream pie still on his face, Edwin Jackson entered the visiting clubhouse in Tropicana Field, only to be met by a beer shower and his screaming, celebrating teammates.

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Third baseman Mark Reynolds said the D-backs planned the celebration almost immediately after the last out of the game, which gave Arizona a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay, excited to have a reason to celebrate after a 29-45 start that hasn't exactly been filled with memorable moments.

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"We've got to throw beer or champagne at some point this year. Might as well do it today," Reynolds said.

"I felt like I was 20 again in my first start against Arizona. That's kind of how it was," Jackson added. "I'll always remember Wilson Alvarez telling me, 'Since you can't drink the beer, we're going to pour it on you.'"

Arizona manager A.J. Hinch was happy to see his players come together and rally around a likable teammate like Jackson, and just as importantly, he was glad they finally had something to be excited about.

"It's something to celebrate, and rightfully so. We won a close game, which we haven't done a ton of. We beat a good team. We had a no-hitter. There's a lot to go home happy about tonight," Hinch said. "We'll enjoy every minute of it. We're so proud of Edwin and how he overcame the first part of the game. So it's good for everybody. I love the fact that our team was into it and celebrated the way we did."

Edwin Jackson, No-hitter

The celebration may have been aided by the fact that, given the bizarre nature of the game, most of the D-backs didn't even see the no-hitter coming. Reynolds said it didn't even hit him until the eighth inning, because so many Rays had gotten on base early and often. Plus, Reynolds said, it was a one-run game, and it would have taken just one swing or one big play for Tampa Bay to turn Jackson's no-hitter into a loss.

Kelly Johnson also admitted that most of the players didn't understand the importance of the situation until after the fifth inning, but said he did everything he could from the dugout to make sure he wouldn't ruin Jackson's big night, although the strange start to the game kept the team from getting too worked up.

"I sat in the same spot on the bench that I sat in previous innings and did kind of everything the same. It was my first one, but that was the attitude I took. It wasn't too tense," Johnson said. "I think we were pulling for some pitches that, even if they weren't that close, we were still hoping for him to just keep that pitch count down. He pitched so good, and he's been pitching like a legit No. 1 for the last month. His stuff's been lights-out. I'm happy, and I'm also not surprised, to be honest."

Jackson and Hinch praised catcher Miguel Montero for calling a good mix of off-speed pitches that helped keep Jackson in the game. Like the rest of the Arizona clubhouse, Montero was just excited to have been a part of Jackson's career game.

"He battled, man. He competed all night. Today, he didn't have the greatest stuff that he's used to, but he competed and he got it done," Montero said. "I feel real excited about his no-hitter, and you know, what else can you say, man?"

Adam LaRoche, who made his mark on the game by scoring the only run -- a second-inning solo homer to right field -- has now been a part of both no-hitters in D-backs history. He was with the Braves when Randy Johnson threw the 17th perfect game in Major League history against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

"I've been on both sides," LaRoche said.

Needless to say, LaRoche enjoyed being on the unhittable pitcher's side this time.

Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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