Struggling Jackson looks to turn things around vs. Brewers

Struggling Jackson looks to turn things around vs. Brewers
April 20, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Associated Press

After adding to their recent home dominance of the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers will try to keep rolling in Hiram Burgos' major league debut.

The 25-year-old right-hander will try to make his first start a successful one while leading the Brewers to a sixth straight win and their seventh in a row at Miller Park against the Cubs on Saturday night.

After putting behind a miserable 2-8 start with a three-game home sweep of San Francisco earlier this week, Milwaukee opened its series against Chicago by holding on for a 5-4 victory Friday night.

Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer in the first inning - his fourth of the season and second in as many games - and Carlos Gomez added a key solo shot in the seventh.

Needing a fifth starter for the first time since April 6, the Brewers (7-8) will turn to Burgos, their minor league pitcher of the year in 2012. The right-hander went 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA and registered 153 strikeouts with 49 walks in 28 games at three different levels last season.

He was 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Nashville this year.

"At this time last year, I was in High-A in Brevard (County, Florida)," Burgos said. "That's the good thing about baseball. You've got to keep working hard to get people out, and in less than a year, I'm here."

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Burgos will pitch opposite a struggling Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06 ERA). After a hard-luck loss in his Cubs debut, the right-hander has given up five runs in back-to-back outings.

Control problems haven't helped. Jackson has issued nine walks over his past two starts and combined with reliever Michael Bowden for a major league record-tying five wild pitches in the sixth inning of a 10-7 loss to San Francisco on Sunday.

"It's inexcusable to let your team down like that when you self-implode in an inning like that and not make an adjustment to regain control of your pitches," he told the team's website. "I let a flaw pretty much detonate the inning and ruin the game."

Jackson, signed to a four-year $52 million contract before this season, also allowed five runs to Milwaukee in a 7-4 defeat April 8. He gave up four of those runs in the opening inning with Martin Maldonado driving in three on a bases-loaded double.

Jackson was 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA in his seven previous regular-season matchups against the Brewers. He also made two starts at Miller Park in the 2011 NLCS while with St. Louis.

Jackson will be asked to help the Cubs (5-10) snap a four-game road losing streak. Chicago, though, has dropped 16 of its last 18 at Miller Park.

Including the postseason, Braun is 9 for 26 (.346) all-time against Jackson but has never homered off the right-hander. Rickie Weeks, meanwhile, is 5 for 15 (.333) with three homers, tied for the most he's allowed to any player.