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Jackson slides to seventh in lineup

Jackson slides to seventh in lineup

DETROIT -- Austin Jackson began the season as part of the Tigers' solution in the middle of the order, bumped out of the leadoff spot to take more of a run-production role. With Jackson in the midst of an early-season slump, he's taking on a lower role.

Jackson batted seventh in the Tigers' batting order on Tuesday, his second time there in a week. Both occasions have come with Don Kelly and J.D. Martinez in the lineup.

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Jackson returned home from a 2-for-24, nine-strikeout West Coast road trip. He entered Tuesday batting 10-for-70 with 19 strikeouts over his last 19 games.

Like the slump, the move down isn't likely to be long term. He has been batting fifth or sixth nearly every day during the skid, and manager Brad Ausmus has stated his faith in Jackson hitting his way out of it.

"I've said this a number of times: He's actually hit the ball better than his average," Ausmus said. "He struck out a few times in Seattle, but he's hit some balls hard, too. The balls he's hitting hard aren't falling for hits, and the balls that he's hitting soft aren't falling for hits. It usually adds up to a slump.

"He's working hard to get out of it. He's a much better player, a much better hitter than he's shown. If water finds its level, he should hit the ball well."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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