Jackson tries to win a career high-tying fourth straight start when he takes the mound against the Colorado Rockies , who have hit him especially hard over the course of his career.
After a rough first three months, Jackson (6-10, 5.11 ERA) seemingly found his form in his final three starts before the All-Star break. The right-hander won each outing while posting a 1.93 ERA and holding opponents to a .203 average - significantly lower than his season mark of .271.
"This is probably the craziest start I've had in baseball," he said of his first-half efforts. "It's a game of grinding it out. As long as you believe and you have the confidence that you can come in and turn things around, it's all that matters.
"Nobody expected me to start like I did - myself, the front office, the team, the managers. No one. But it's a game, you have to keep grinding. You can either sink or you can swim."
Jackson pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to beat St. Louis 3-0 on July 11.
"He was really sharp against the best offense in baseball," manager Dale Sveum told MLB's official website. "He had a lot more conviction with his pitches, and wasn't worried about pitching as much as throwing."
Jackson won four consecutive starts July 25-Aug. 10, 2008, while with Tampa Bay.
Despite his hot streak, Jackson may not be looking forward to facing the Rockies (47-51). He's 1-2 with a 15.12 ERA in seven career matchups with Colorado - by far his highest mark against any team.
Jackson has surrendered 18 runs in 5 1-3 innings during his last two starts in Colorado. Troy Tulowitzki , Carlos Gonzalez , Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer are a combined 17 for 26 (.654) with a home run, three doubles and two triples in their matchups.
Colorado gives the ball to Tyler Chatwood (5-3, 2.56), who has yielded two or fewer runs in all but one of his last 11 starts. The right-hander recorded his first career complete game in a hard-luck 1-0 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday.
"We didn't get a win, but I don't think his outing was wasted," Cuddyer said of Chatwood, who has never faced the Cubs. "I think he can continue to build off that."
After dropping Friday's opener 3-1, the Rockies bounced back Saturday with a 9-3 win. Gonzalez hit his NL-leading 26th homer and Fowler went 2 for 3 with a season high-tying three RBIs.
"I have a lot of confidence in our offense. I know we've struggled but it's a good offensive club and I stick by that," said manager Walt Weiss , whose team has gone 12-21 since a 7-3 stretch last month.
Colorado improved to 20-7 at home when Gonzalez drives in at least one run. He is batting .384 with eight homers, 17 RBIs and 19 runs in 22 career games against Chicago (43-52).
The Rockies have hit .350 in taking 11 of 13 home matchups in the series, a stretch in which they've outscored the Cubs 103-53.
|July 15, 2013||Brian Bogusevic||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|July 08, 2013||Welington Castillo||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|June 30, 2013||Ryan Sweeney||60-Day DL||Fractured left rib|
|June 15, 2013||David DeJesus||15-Day DL||Right shoulder sprain|
|June 14, 2013||David DeJesus||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right shoulder|
|June 12, 2013||Zach Putnam||60-Day DL||Right elbow soreness|
|July 15, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 08, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained finger|
|July 08, 2013||Roy Oswalt||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Upper back strain|
|June 29, 2013||Jorge De La Rosa||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb|
|June 26, 2013||Dexter Fowler||15-Day DL||Right wrist soreness|
DENVER (AP) -- After hitting the ball hard and coming up empty in recent games, Nolan Arenado finally got one to drop.
Tyler Chatwood pitched six strong innings, Arenado snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a go-ahead single and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday to win the three-game series.
"Lately, I haven't been coming through for my teammates like I wish I could," Arenado said. "But I've just got to keep hitting the ball hard and that's all I can do. Luckily, I hit one up the middle and I was able to help out, which was nice."
Chatwood (6-3), who went the distance last time out but was a tough-luck loser to Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0, allowed seven hits and two runs, one earned.
Starlin Castro had four hits for Chicago, matching a career high, and Anthony Rizzo homered.
Edwin Jackson (6-11) settled down after a rough start to go seven innings, allowing five hits and four runs - three earned. All the damage off him came with two outs.
Jackson, whose three-game winning streak was snapped, struck out five and walked two, both in the sixth. With two outs, he walked Carlos Gonzalez and, after Gonzalez stole second, issued a free pass to Michael Cuddyer .
Arenado followed with a single to shallow center that Junior Lake fielded on the run.
"I just tried to look for something over the plate," Arenado said. "Jackson was throwing well, throwing everything for strikes and his stuff was moving. I was just looking for something up and luckily I got a pitch up. Right when I hit it, I was like, `Oh, thank God. Right up the middle. Oh, just please score,' and CarGo's fast, so that helped."
Gonzalez scored ahead of Lake's errant throw home, which sailed over the head of catcher Welington Castillo . The ball bounced off the backstop and rolled into the Rockies' dugout, allowing Cuddyer to score from third. Arenado also came home but the umpires sent him back to second, ruling the ball dead when it rolled to the dugout.
"I knew it was going to be high," said Jackson, who was backing up the plate on the play. "It went past Welly's glove and it hit off the wall. It's just one of those unfortunate plays. Junior Lake has a strong arm, it was a hard-hit ball to center field and I knew he was coming up gunning. I wasn't able to stop the ball."
Rex Brothers , in the closer role with Rafael Betancourt (appendix) on the disabled list, allowed a leadoff double in the ninth by Castro, who scored on Alfonso Soriano 's groundout. After walking Cody Ransom , Brothers struck out Lake for his fifth save.
Chicago finished 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"We had guys on all day and we didn't get that big hit," Rizzo said. "From the first inning on, we threatened, but hats off to them for making the pitches."
Like Jackson, Chatwood had a shaky first inning but managed to get out of it unscathed. With one out, Castro and Rizzo hit successive singles. After Soriano grounded into a fielder's choice, Nate Schierholtz drew a walk to load the bases before Chatwood fanned Lake, blowing a 95 mph fastball past him for strike three.
"He's battled through some tough spots over the course of his outings," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It seems like when he gets in some traffic, he either gets a groundball to get out of it or finds a way to minimize the damage."
Chatwood couldn't entirely escape trouble in the sixth, though. Rizzo started the inning by homering into the left-field bleachers for his 14th of the season. One out later, Schierholtz and Lake hit back-to-back singles and both advanced on Chatwood's errant pickoff throw, leading to Schierholtz scoring on Darwin Barney 's sacrifice fly as Chicago tied it at 2.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Gonzalez and a run-scoring double by Cuddyer.
NOTES: Chicago continues its 10-game road trip Monday at Arizona where Matt Garza (6-1), the subject of trade speculation, is scheduled to pitch the series opener against Tyler Skaggs (2-1). ... Colorado resumes its 10-game homestand Monday, opening a four-game set against Miami with Drew Pomeranz (0-3) taking the mound against Tom Koehler (1-5). ... Chicago was unbeaten in four consecutive series (2-0-2) before Sunday's loss. ... Gonzalez's sixth-inning stolen base was his 100th as a member of the Rockies, tying him with Juan Pierre for fifth on the club's all-time list. ... Castro had his 10th career four-hit game and first since Sept. 19, 2012, against Cincinnati.