BOSTON -- Austin Jackson is used to long runs in center field across the American League. His range, after all, is what makes him one of the better outfielders in the American League. Monday night at Fenway Park, however, was an adventure.
Twice, the Red Sox capitalized on triples that bounced off the outfield walls and past Jackson, who was giving speedy pursuit. One was a shot off the wall in left-center field from former triples champion Carl Crawford, allowing him to roll into third easily with a first-inning RBI.
It wasn't so much the quirky angles of the AL's oldest park on that one, Jackson said, but a ball that had more carry than he expected. It hit off the wall at an angle that allowed it to bounce past him.
"I thought I had a good jump on it," Jackson said. "As it was starting to come down, I realized it was hit a lot better than I thought."
It was a later drive from slow-footed catcher Kelly Shoppach where the dimensions really came into play. Jackson nearly ran it down before the ball hit near the 420-foot mark in straightaway center, the deepest part of the ballpark. It bounced off at an angle that sent it back toward left-center.
"It's just tough right there in that corner where the 420-mark is," Jackson said. "To the right of it, it definitely has a chance to kick off that wall like it did and shoot the other way. ... I thought I was pretty close to it, but I really didn't know where I was at. It was more right-center, and then once I went to catch it, it started kind of fading back."