It was all hinging on one player. That's how much of a difference Austin Jackson makes with this team.
Had Jackson's sore left ankle not allowed him to play, Leyland was ready to start rookie Avisail Garcia in center field. Moreover, he admitted that he briefly weighed starting Omar Infante in the outfield, one of his previous spots when he was a utility man with the Atlanta Braves, and starting Danny Worth at second. Leyland eventually decided against it.
Jackson injured his ankle Saturday at Progressive Field, where he crashed into the center-field fence trying to make a catch on Carlos Santana's triple that broke up Anibal Sanchez's no-hit bid. He initially said Saturday he was OK, but was noticeably limping around the clubhouse Sunday morning.