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Jackson struggles again for Cubs in loss to Phils

Published: Saturday, June 14, 2014 9:43 p.m. CST
Caption
(AP photo)
Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson pitches during the first inning Saturday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA – Edwin Jackson is looking to find his form again.

The Cubs right-hander struggled through 42/3 innings, giving up Jimmy Rollins’ Phillies-record 2,235rd career hit, and the Cubs lost, 7-4, to Philadelphia on Saturday.

Jackson (4-7) allowed seven runs – six earned – and eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

“I did a bad job of executing my pitches,” he said.

After three strong starts to begin May, where he went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA, Jackson is 1-4 with a 7.56 ERA in his last five outings.

“I have to go back to finding my rhythm and keeping the ball down,” Jackson said. “I have to go back to the basics and make pitches.”

Justin Ruggiano, Luis Valbuena and Mike Olt homered for the Cubs, which were trying to win consecutive road games on the same trip for the first time since last Sept. 10-11.

Domonic Brown and Chase Utley homered for Philadelphia, which has won four of five following a dismal 1-8 stretch.

The Cubs trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the fifth when Rollins set the table for a three-run inning by lacing Jackson’s 3-1 pitch to right to pass Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt as the Phillies’ all-time hits leader.

“It was very cool,” Rollins said.

Schmidt, a Phillies TV analyst for Sunday games, retrieved Rollins’ bat and greeted the 2007 NL MVP with a high-five and hug at first base. The entire Phillies team then came out from the dugout to offer congratulatory hugs and handshakes.

After the Phillies went back to their dugout, Schmidt took Rollins’ hand and held it in the air. Fans cheered and gave the duo a standing ovation as fireworks erupted from the large video board in left field.

“I told him, ‘Congrats, it couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Schmidt said later in the game. “I’m glad I was here. My heart is pounding.”

Upon leaving the field, Schmidt was stopped in the dugout by the slumping Brown, who asked for a hitting lesson. Schmidt said he told Brown to drive through the ball with his left hand.

Minutes later, Brown broke the game open with a three-run homer to right, his fourth of the season after hitting 27 last year, that put Philadelphia ahead 7-3 and chased Jackson.

“It just wasn’t his day,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “The one inning kind of got away from us. He battled in that inning. He was one strike away. Once again we came up short.”

David Buchanan (2-3), in his fifth start for injured lefty Cliff Lee (elbow), allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.

But the day belonged to Rollins.

He made his debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000, and has played his entire career in Philadelphia.

“To be the all-time hits leader, that speaks for itself,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It was well worth it. Fourteen years of effort with one uniform in a lot of ways that’s old school.”

Said Renteria: “He’s put together what is potentially a Hall of Fame career. He’s a credit to Philadelphia and the Phillies. I think he’s admired all over.”

Schmidt had doubts that any player would break his hits record in notoriously tough Philadelphia and in the era of free agency. But Rollins’ mentality on and off the field, Schmidt says, allowed him to do it.

“He’s very comfortable in his own skin,” Schmidt said. “He’s got a nice, short stride and stays relaxed (at the plate). He’s a great clutch hitter, tremendous.much better than me. One of the great compliments you can pay a hitter is (to) say I want him up when the game is on the line.”

Schmidt said Rollins should get “definite consideration” for the Hall of Fame right now and believes Rollins could land in Cooperstown with continued solid play for three or four more years.

“He knows talent, that’s pretty cool,” Rollins said.

Rollins received strong ovations when he came to the plate his first two at-bats, but he grounded out to first base in the first inning and lined out sharply to first in the second. He finished 1 for 4.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Utley put Philadelphia in front with a solo shot in the first, but Olt answered in the second. It was the 10th homer in 22 hits for the Cubs rookie.

Ben Revere and Carlos Ruiz had RBI hits, along with Junior Lake’s fielding error in center field, in the bottom of the second helped Philadelphia take a 4-1 lead.

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