Back at Wrigley, Jackson settles after shaky 1st

Nationals right-hander pitched for Cubs from 2013-15

Back at Wrigley, Jackson settles after shaky 1st

CHICAGO -- Edwin Jackson's career in Chicago never worked out the way he or the Cubs planned. Near the beginning of Chicago's rebuilding plan that culminated in a World Series championship, Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Cubs during the winter of 2013. However, he struggled from the beginning, and his Cubs tenure ended with his release in July 2015.

On Saturday afternoon, Jackson took the mound for his first start at Wrigley Field since 2014, back with the Nationals -- the team he had left before signing with the Cubs. Chicago blitzed Jackson for four runs in the first inning before he eventually settled in during the Nats' 7-4 loss. Jackson insisted he carried no hard feelings toward the Cubs and didn't have an extra motivation for this start.

"Obviously, you know, it'll be nice to come in here and pitch well, being that it's a team you've played with," Jackson said. "But I got a lot of teams I've played with that I can pitch against."

Jackson has played with 12 teams during his Major League career, so it is easier for him to not overplay the situation. But he has begun to settle into a role with the Nationals as the team's fifth starter after they lost Joe Ross, who underwent Tommy John surgery, for the season. In four starts, Jackson has posted a 3.75 ERA with 20 strikeouts and five walks in 24 innings.

Even after his rocky first inning Saturday, Jackson eventually settled down to keep Washington in the game. He did not allow a run during the rest of the outing, retiring 10 consecutive hitters after giving up the four first-inning runs and striking out eight overall without issuing a walk.

"Go out, give us a chance to win," Jackson said. "I'm not trying to do anything more, anything less. ... I think those are the times when you kind of get hurt, if you try to go out and do too much, playing to the situation. You have to kind of take it as another start."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.