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Jackson hits walk-off homer for cycle
06/14/2010 11:55 PM ET
The second time was the charm for Brett Jackson on Monday night.

After falling just short of the left-field fence in the eighth inning, the former first-round Draft pick completed the cycle with a two-run walk-off homer in the 11th to lead the Daytona Cubs past the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 6-4.

It was the eighth cycle in the Minor Leagues this season and the first by a Daytona player since Felix Pie accomplished the feat in 2004.

Jackson, the 31st overall pick by the Cubs in the 2009 Draft, finished a triple shy of the cycle while playing for the Class A Peoria Chiefs at Quad Cities last Aug. 16, but had never completed one or smacked a walk-off home run at any level.

"It's a pretty great feeling," Jackson said. "We've been playing well lately and we're almost back to .500, so it's a big win for the team."

Winners of five of their last six games, the Cubs are 30-32, seven games behind first-place Dunedin in the Class A Advanced Florida State League North Division.

After Lakeland jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, the left-handed Jackson led off the home half of the frame with a triple to right field off right-hander Luke Putkonen, but the Cubs were unable to bring him home. The three-bagger moved him into a tie for third in the league with six triples.

The University of California product struck out in the third, then delivered a two-out RBI single in the fourth off Putkonen to give Daytona a 4-3 lead.

Facing lefty Tyler Conn to lead off the seventh, Jackson drove a double to left but was again stranded on the bases. The left-handed Jackson is hitting southpaws slightly better than right-handers this season -- he's batting .303 with a .539 slugging percentage against lefties and .285 with a .403 slugging mark off righties.

After the Flying Tigers tied the game, 4-4, with a run in the eighth, Jackson came up with two outs in the bottom of the inning with the bases loaded and left-hander Wilfredo Ramirez on the mound. He sent a long fly ball to the opposite field that Lakeland left fielder Brent Wyatt corralled on the warning track.

"When I hit it, I thought it had a chance, but I didn't get quite enough of it," Jackson said. "The wind had been blowing out [to left] pretty hard earlier in the game, but it had died down by then."

He got another chance to win the game with a man on first and one out in the 11th -- again facing Ramirez. With the winning run on first, he knew the Lakeland hurler couldn't get too fancy.

"I was looking for a fastball and I got one, middle-in," he recalled. "I was able to get the bat through it and hit it pretty hard."

There was no doubt about this one. It was Jackson's fourth homer of the season -- and second in three games. It also marked his sixth multiple-hit effort in his past eight games, and the three runs he drove in Monday night made 13 RBIs in his last seven outings.

"I was going through a tough slump there for a while, probably the toughest of my short career," said Jackson, who went 6-for-46 (.130) over 12 games between May 21 and June 2. "I've gotten a lot of help from the coaches and put in a lot of work trying to get out of it."

Marco Carrillo improved to 2-0 for the Cubs after tossing three scoreless frames. He gave up two hits and struck out four.



This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.