- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Edwin Jackson retired his first 10 batters in four shutout innings during his final start before the regular season, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Friday night.

Jackson allowed only a ground single to Aaron Hill and did not walk a batter. The right-hander struck out two and threw 34 of 47 pitches for strikes.

Jackson, who lost a major league-high 18 games last season, is scheduled to start Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz each had an RBI single and made a diving catch in the outfield to back Jackson.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Jackson said. “Just coming out throwing strikes and letting the defense play behind you.”

Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. It was Cahill’s first start since he took the loss against the Dodgers in Arizona’s second regular-season game in Australia on Sunday.

“I thought he was better tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He had better rhythm. He controlled the count better.”

Cubs right-hander Armando Rivero struck out Tuffy Gosewisch with the bases loaded to end the eighth.

Jose Veras gave up a hit and hit a batter with a pitch in the ninth before securing the save.


Cubs: Jackson lowered his spring ERA to 4.00. It was 4.98 during his forgettable 2013 season.

“I’m excited,” Jackson said. “Last year was a crazy year, not a year I wanted to have. I’m eager to go out and be able to play the way I know I can play. I haven’t lost any confidence.”

Diamondbacks: Cahill walked three and struck out five, throwing 55 of 92 pitches for strikes. Gibson said the team is trying to get Cahill to speed things up.

“His pace was much better,” Gibson said. “We’re trying to get him on the mound and go.”


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