With a little help from the weather, Edwin Jackson pitched Triple-A Syracuse within eight outs of history.The Nationals right-hander walked four and struck out five over six hitless innings on Saturday as the Chiefs blanked Buffalo, 5-0, at Coca-Cola Field.
With a little help from the weather, Edwin Jackson pitched Triple-A Syracuse within eight outs of history.
The Nationals right-hander walked four and struck out five over six hitless innings on Saturday as the Chiefs blanked Buffalo, 5-0, at Coca-Cola Field.
Jackson (1-0), who signed a Minor League contract with Washington on June 15, induced seven ground balls and faced four batters over the minimum in limiting the Bisons to four baserunners. He came close to cracking in the fifth after walking Jon Berti and Roemon Fields, who worked a double steal with two outs. However, Jake Elmore grounded out to end the frame and Jackson retired the side in order in the sixth.
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"I think it was a combination of pitches and a combination of the elements of the field," the 33-year-old said. "A combination of both helped tonight's game and sometimes you've just got to take advantage of the elements and take advantage of a tough wind. Sometimes the ball rolls your way with that. They hit a few balls hard that could have easily been extra-base hits but got caught for outs."
The fact that Buffalo remained hitless did not elude Jackson, but he said he didn't think about it on the mound.
"I saw it a couple of times, but it didn't really matter," he said. "I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the game anyway, so it wasn't something I was trying to accomplish or anything like that."
The former big leaguer exited at the start of the seventh, capping his longest outing of the season at 78 pitches. Austin Adams took over, but Shane Opitz singled up the middle with one out in the seventh to end the Chiefs' bid.
Jackson was designated for assignment by the Orioles on June 11 after posting a 3.10 ERA over 20 1/3 innings in 12 appearances for Triple-A Norfolk and allowing seven runs over five innings in the big leagues.
Since joining Syracuse, the 2001 sixth-round pick has found success in a limited role. He has not exceeded six innings in any of his three appearances but has not yielded a hit or a run over 12 1/3 frames.
"I'm just trying to go out and put my work in, stay consistent with my pitches and keep the team in the ballgame and do what I'm here to do -- that's get better and continue to build up pitch counts," Jackson said.
Neftali Soto and Alejandro De Aza collected three hits apiece for the Chiefs, with De Aza doubling twice and plating a run.
Bisons starter Cesar Valdez (3-3) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits and two walks while striking out three over six innings.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.