That glass-and-girder monster known as Minute Maid Park greeted the Tigers, some for the first time, Thursday.

It is quite the baseball playpen. It has sandstone arches across the left-and center-field wall, separating balcony seats and the playing field from the glassed-in upper tier that rises toward the retractable roof that rests atop those broad green supporting girders.

In right-center and right field are sloping dual-decked seats that make it seem as if Minute Maid is two different parks.

And there, in center field, is a grass hill that rises from the warning track to the center-field wall, 438 feet away.

Austin Jackson was at least preparing Thursday for a baseball hit to that bizarre incline.

"Gotta go check that out, get a feel for it," Jackson said as he and the Tigers tuned up for a four-game series against the Astros, the first meeting since Houston joined the American League.

"I don't know how I'll deal with it. A good question. Guess I'll mess around with it (during batting practice). I've seen a few guys hit it (center fielders run into it) and who didn't seem to know it was coming."

The incline is more like an appendage to the field. It's a knoll, maybe 100 feet wide and 30 feet deep, which comes into play only if a ball is crushed and travels about the same distance as it might in the deepest part of Comerica Park's center field.