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Saturday, May 11, 2013
Jackson leads Cubs at plate and on mound

By Todd Karpovich
Special to ESPNChicago.com

WASHINGTON -- Chicago Cubs starter Edwin Jackson joked with former Washington Nationals teammate Stephen Strasburg prior to their weekend series, saying he was going to be "ready for the gas," otherwise known as Strasburg's fastball, which reaches almost 100 miles per hour.

In the fifth inning, Jackson lived up to his prediction by lining a two-run double off Strasburg on a 3-2 count to right-center field that broke open a scoreless game. That hit was the catalyst for the Cubs' offense, which scored twice more that inning before cruising to an 8-2 victory.

"I was just looking for something I could hit hard," Jackson said. "He throwing 95, 96, 97 and I'd been missing all game, so I just tried to relax and find something to make contact with."

Jackson was equally effective on the mound, picking up his first victory of the season after starting 0-5. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks over 5 1/3 innings.

"It was nice to finally get that monkey off my back, to come out and help contribute to my team," Jackson said. "It was just a good team effort today. We played a good game of baseball today."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum liked the way Jackson was aggressive pitching inside to hitters. However, he was equally impressed with Jackson's performance at the plate.

"He came up with a huge hit," Sveum said. "That was probably the difference in the whole ballgame. If Strasburg punches him out there, it's a whole different ballgame."

The Cubs will try to win the three-game series Sunday when righty Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70 ERA) faces Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 2.70 ERA).