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Iowa's Jackson opens May with a bang
05/02/2012 12:16 AM ET
Brett Jackson considers himself a spark plug in the Iowa Cubs lineup. On Tuesday night, he and the team were firing on all cylinders.

The Cubs' No. 2 prospect went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a career-high four runs scored to lead Triple-A Iowa to a 13-4 rout of the Memphis Redbirds.

Jackson got things started quickly for the Cubs, leading off the game with a double and scoring on Dave Sappelt's double. Iowa batted around and Jackson doubled again, plating Matt Tolbert to cap the six-run first inning.

The 2009 first-round Draft pick ignited Iowa again in the fourth, bunting for a hit and scoring on Ty Wright's two-run double. An inning later, he singled home another run and scored on Adrian Cardenas' RBI single. Jackson was hit by a pitch in the ninth and scored ahead of Sappelt's third homer of the season.

"I like to think of myself as a catalyst for the lineup," said Jackson, who eclipsed his previous high of three runs scored, established most recently on Aug. 26. "When I get on base, with the guys in our lineup, it means more wins for the team. I can't praise the team enough for the outing tonight. I think everyone came up with a big hit tonight."

Jackson, who recorded his third career four-hit game and first since 2009, had been slumping, with two hits in his previous four games. The 23-year-old outfielder was batting .236 with 11 runs scored in his first 22 games. He raised that mark by 30 points Tuesday.

"April was a good growth month for me," Jackson said. "I endured some struggles and I'm looking forward to coming out of it and being a better player for it. I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead and putting what happened in April behind me.

"Obviously, you always want to succeed and get off to a good start, but the way I look at it is that it's forced me to make some adjustments that I wouldn't have made. I know there is a lot more to the player I am."

Jackson struck out in the sixth and expressed disappointment at missing out on a fifth hit.

"I would have liked to go 5-for-5," he said. "You almost have some disappointment about not getting a hit in that at bat. It's something I like to take pride in; I take every at-bat as if it's the most important one."

The 13 runs were a season high for Iowa, which improved to 10-14 but trails first-place Omaha by six games in the Pacific Coast League American North Division.

"I think this team has the ability to win a lot of games," Jackson said. "We're not too happy with our record after the first month. We talked about it in the clubhouse today; it's a new month. It's a big positive for us."

Sappelt finished with three hits and two RBIs, while Cardenas drove in three runs.

Jay Jackson (2-2) benefited from the offensive explosion and limited the Redbirds to three runs on six hits while striking out six over five innings.



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