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Monday, June 12, 2006

Jackson Earns 1st Major League Win as Brewers Prevail 6-5



From Sportsline.com:

Moments after his first major-league victory was clinched, left-hander Zach Jackson met the two dozen relatives who drove in from Pittsburgh and presented them with two game-used baseballs.

See, they didn't all wind up in the stands.

The 23-year-old rookie gave up four homers and was facing his first big-league loss Monday night when the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 6-5 victory over the slumping Cincinnati Reds. Prince Fielder hit a tying homer in the eighth, and Rickie Weeks followed with a go-ahead single.

Quite a way to get that first win.

"That's the kind of pitcher I am," said Jackson, who challenged the NL's more homer-reliant lineup. "I'd rather make them earn it. If that's what happens, I give up a couple of runs, so be it."

The comeback was stirring for the Brewers -- only their fifth win in the last 16 games -- but the rookie's start was the most encouraging. Milwaukee's downturn is directly tied to its depleted pitching staff.

Since Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka went on the disabled list in early May, their replacements have gone 2-11. And one of those wins now belongs to Jackson (1-0), who has clearly been the best of the backup bunch in two starts.

"He did a nice job," manager Ned Yost said. "The home runs obviously hurt him, but he was on the attack. He got us through seven. We haven't had that luxury with the pitchers we've been trying to fill in those spots with, and he's done it twice."

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