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Jackson makes first post-Deadline impression

Jackson makes first post-Deadline impression

BALTIMORE -- It took Austin Jackson a day to get his feet under him, but the Mariners' new leadoff hitter made his mark in Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Orioles as he reached base three times and scored a pair of runs.

The Mariners didn't add a big bopper at Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, but they did pick up a quality center fielder in Jackson, who helped the a potent Tigers club for the last several years and now intends to do the same in Seattle.

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The Mariners know a player like Jackson can affect a lot of things.

"If we get a guy like Austin Jackson on the bases, it's going to be a good thing," said Dustin Ackley, who has been hitting behind the fleet 27-year-old in the lineup. "You're going to see good pitches because he's a threat on the bases. It just helps all around."

Ackley and Jackson got on base a combined six times and scored five runs on Saturday.

"That's how you win games, when guys get on base at the top of the lineup," said Robinson Cano. "It's a chance for not only me, but you've got [Kendrys] Morales and [Kyle] Seager. It's a chance for us to win games, and I think they understand that."

Cano feels the addition of Jackson, Morales and Chris Denorfia will pay dividends down the stretch.

"Denorfia can hit. He's a gamer. I like him," Cano said. "And you have Jackson, another righty. So we don't have to have eight lefties in the lineup and one righty any more. I think we're better now."

Manager Lloyd McClendon was Jackson's hitting coach in Detroit the previous four years, and he feels the center fielder is just entering his prime at 27.

"I think he's at a point now where he's close to being that complete two-way player that is going to hit .300, 15 home runs, score 100 [runs] and drive in 70 out of the leadoff spot," McClendon said. "And that's a pretty good leadoff hitter. It's just a matter of doing it consistently. That's the next step for him, just to be that consistent player every year."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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