"For me not to come out and hold a lead, that's just disappointing; it's a terrible job, flat out," Jackson said. "There's no other way to put it."
Jackson was in line for his first career win over the Padres in 10 games after the Cubs gave him a 6-0 lead in the first, sending a dozen batters to the plate. Starlin Castro reached on a throwing error by third baseman Chase Headley to lead off. Anthony Rizzo then singled, and Dioner Navarro smacked an RBI single. Nate Schierholtz followed with his 19th home run, connecting on an offspeed pitch from starter Edinson Volquez to open a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs were not done. Junior Lake reached on an infield single, and Donnie Murphy was hit by a pitch to set up Brian Bogusevic's two-run triple. The Cubs loaded the bases when Darwin Barney walked and Jackson reached on a fielder's choice, the first out of the inning. Volquez got Castro to fly out but walked Rizzo and was lifted after throwing 42 pitches.
It was the most runs scored by the Cubs in an inning this season, and the most since they scored six last Aug. 30 in the sixth against the Brewers.
But the Cubs' offense for the night lasted just that two-thirds of an inning.
Jackson served up a three-run home run to Gyorko, the slugger's 15th, with one out in the fourth. The Padres had two on and one out again in the fifth when Will Venable smacked a two-run triple. It is part of an unfortunate trend with Jackson. He holds batters to a .256 average the first time through the lineup, but they are hitting .313 the third time.
"To pretty much sum it up, I got beat on two breaking balls," Jackson said. "I gave up a three-run homer [to Gyorko] on a hanging slider. I was throwing strikes, so it wasn't like I wasn't throwing strikes. I left too good of pitches in the zone for them to hit long balls with men on base. That pretty much sums it up."
Was the problem pitch selection?
"It was just terrible location," Jackson said. "[The pitches] were pretty much over the plate and hanging. It was just terrible, bad pitches. It wasn't pitch selection, just location."
Said Cubs manager Dale Sveum: "You can't throw big league hitters balls down the middle."
"He missed his location," Navarro said of Jackson, "and was pitching up in the zone a little bit, and when you pitch up in the zone, bad things happen."
Yes, they do. Headley doubled with one out in the sixth and scored one out later on Logan Forsythe's triple to tie the game. In the seventh, pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno singled off Jackson, who was pulled in favor of James Russell. The lefty picked off Cedeno, but then served up Venable's homer to let the Padres go ahead, 7-6.
Russell has now given up at least one run in each of his last four outings, including home runs to two left-handed batters -- Venable and the Cardinals' Jon Jay, who belted a three-run blast last Sunday at Wrigley Field.
It was Russell's 65th appearance, second among Major League left-handed relievers. Sveum did not think Russell was overworked.
"Once again, it was bad pitch selection," Sveum said. "You're not supposed to throw [Venable] a slider, and he threw him a slider."
Gyorko notched his 16th home run leading off the eighth against Blake Parker. He is the first Padres player to record a multihomer game this year.
Give the Padres' bullpen credit. Five pitchers combined to throw 8 1/3 scoreless innings.
"We scored six runs in the first and didn't do anything else," Navarro said. "Their bullpen came in and did a great job. It's frustrating. You get a lead like that and you get six runs [in the first] and haven't made an out yet, and then you lose by two; it's a little frustrating."
Yes, it is. The Cubs' offense has struggled this season and was batting just .231 on the road.
"It was a [terrible] job holding the lead," Jackson said. "You have a team go out and give you six runs, and as starters, we all feel the same way; if we can't hold a six-run lead, it's real disappointing. The guys go out and come out in the first inning and do a great job to give you enough run support, and you should be able to go through the game and have a chance to preserve the win, and you don't get it done, that's a terrible job; it's just a terrible job of protecting a lead."