Jackson roughed up in return as Cubs fall to Dodgers

Righty unable to make it out of first inning; status for final start TBD

Jackson roughed up in return as Cubs fall to Dodgers

CHICAGO -- Edwin Jackson was unable to make it out of the first inning, Clayton Kershaw overcame an early hiccup and the Dodgers pulled away for a 14-5 win over the Cubs on Friday at Wrigley Field.

Jackson gave up five earned runs, four hits and a walk on 35 pitches before being pulled for September callup Eric Jokisch. Jackson was making his first start since Aug. 20 after spending a month on the disabled list with a right lat strain.

Whether he makes his final scheduled start against the Brewers next Friday is in question.

"It's too soon for me to say what exactly he'll do because the game is finished and I haven't had a conversation yet with anybody," manager Rick Renteria said.

"We have to sit down and talk. We still have other guys that we have to see how we line them up and how we use them. We'll make those decisions, obviously, in the very near future."

Jackson's ERA ballooned from 6.09 to 6.38, and he picked up his 15th loss of the season in 27 starts. The abbreviated outing comes on the heels of his Aug. 20 loss to the Giants, in which he went just 2 2/3 innings.

"I felt like I was attacking the strike zone, attacking the players, trying to make them put the ball in play; had life today," Jackson said. "Just a matter of executing pitches when you have a chance to put people away."

Of the seven batters he faced, Jackson got two strikes on five of them -- including Matt Kemp, who sent a 1-2 fastball into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer and the first runs of the game. It was the sixth straight fastball Jackson threw to Kemp, one high in the zone.

"I think that was just a bad decision of pitch selection after throwing that many fastballs in a row," Jackson said. "Then he gets one up and hits a big three-run homer. [That] pretty much did it for the first inning."

Jokisch and the bullpen allowed an additional nine runs (seven earned) and nine hits over the remaining 8 1/3 innings.

Kershaw, who became the first pitcher this year to reach 20 wins, allowed an uncharacteristic three runs in the first inning that closed the Cubs' gap to 6-3. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner left after five frames, tied for his second-shortest outing in 25 starts. Kershaw allowed the three runs, seven hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.

"Obviously, you want to go eight or nine [innings] and be the reason why the team won," said Kershaw. "Sometimes, the team does it for you and you just happen to be out there."

The Dodgers belted four homers -- one each from Kemp and Yasiel Puig, and a pair from A.J. Ellis, who entered the game with just one all season. It was Ellis' second career multihomer game -- his previous coming on Aug. 3, 2012, also against the Cubs.

Welington Castillo left the game in the first with a left rib contusion, and he was to undergo further evaluation. Anthony Rizzo left in the seventh once the Dodgers' lead had extended to 14-3.

September callup Rafael Lopez took over for Castillo, and went 1-for-3 with a single for his first Major League hit, a walk and an RBI.

"I was definitely a little surprised to get back in there so quickly," Lopez said. "But I just try to clear my mind and just do whatever I could off him and see what happens."

The Cubs have to go 3-2 over their final five home games -- two against the Dodgers and three against the NL Central-leading Cardinals -- to finish above .500 at Wrigley Field.

"You can't put your head down," Renteria said. "They're still here for the next two days; good club. Again, I think most games, as we all know, are predicated on pitching. So if you can keep your club in the game, you have a chance.

"I really think we've ground out two really good pitchers [Kershaw and Zack Greinke] here the last two days. Yesterday that one got away from us, we weren't able to finish it. Then today, they kept tacking on runs too. You can see why they're such a good club."

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.