Jackson delivers after narrowly missing slam

Jackson delivers after narrowly missing slam

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a split-second Monday afternoon at Target Field, Austin Jackson looked as if he gave Jose Quintana four runs of support with one swing of the bat.

With Quintana on the mound, though, that sort of support usually is too good to be true.

Jackson's bid for a grand slam on a 2-2 pitch from Kyle Gibson with two outs in the fourth inning curved one or two inches around the left-field foul pole. The line drive came against a 21-mph wind blowing in from the left.

Jackson drives in two after foul

But the White Sox center fielder remained undaunted. Jackson connected on the next pitch from Gibson for a two-run single to center, giving Quintana and the South Siders more than enough offense during a 4-1 victory over the Twins.

"Oh yeah," Jackson said with a smile. "I'll take that too."

"I thought it was even bigger that he gets the hit after that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "When you see it go foul, you hope 'Q' has something go his way, and it did."

Ventura certainly weighed the possibility of challenging the foul call on Jackson's almost slam. Only a small sliver of open space exists between the foul pole and a left-field wall representing foul ground at Target Field, making it seem nearly impossible that the ball didn't at least graze the pole.

In checking with his video people, the word back to Ventura was that the ball clearly missed.

"Even calling in the video, if it's even close, maybe just nicking it, we're going to look at it," Ventura said.

"It had a little topspin on it," Jackson said. "I saw it start curving toward the foul pole. I still wasn't really sure if it hit it or not. It just kind of disappeared. ... Dang."

The umpiring crew, led by crew chief Joe West, had a brief on-field discussion before Jackson stepped back into the batter's box. The veteran maintained his focus during the two or three minutes of down time and lined a 2-2 fastball up the middle to bring home Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia.

Since joining the White Sox via free agency in early March, Jackson has fit in nicely. He feels good at the plate and showed it during the White Sox fourth road win in five games this season.

"Everybody is working towards a similar goal. I was fortunate that I was able to come in and fit right in. It's a great group of guys," Jackson said. "It's still early, but at the same time, it's always a positive thing when you are getting clutch base hits and are able to keep the line moving."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.