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Rick Renteria says Edwin Jackson’s outing was his best

EdwJacks(3-3) who blanked Brewers four hits seven innings has 1.80 ERA his last three starts. | Getty Images

Edwin Jackson (3-3), who blanked the Brewers on four hits in seven innings, has a 1.80 ERA in his last three starts. | Getty Images

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Updated: June 23, 2014 1:06PM

Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson looked like less of the salary albatross he has been since signing with the team before the 2013 season.

The right-hander threw like the power pitcher the Cubs thought they were getting, fanning 11 in seven innings during a 3-0 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday afternoon.

It was Jackson’s seventh career game with double-digit strikeouts. In his last three starts, Jackson (3-3) has a 1.80 ERA.

“The more you can keep a team off-balance and you can keep them guessing a little bit, you definitely have a chance to help yourself out,” Jackson said.

“I just tell myself, go out, have fun and do a better job of ­preserving the lead than I’ve done in the past few starts.”

Manager Rick Renteria said he thought Jackson’s slider was working well in what he called Jackson’s best outing of the season.

Two hamstrings, two stories

Two Cubs with hamstring injuries appear to be taking divergent paths to recovery.

Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who is rehabbing in Arizona, will scale back his work, according to a very cryptic response from Renteria.

Sweeney suffered the injury chasing a fly ball and was put on the disabled list May 3. Initially, he was expected to miss three to four weeks.

“He’s actually just taking a step back, but he’s actually doing fine,” Renteria said.

“He’s just probably felt it a little lightly. But he’s been pushing. He’s been doing great.”

However, fellow outfielder Justin Ruggiano appears well on his way to recovering. Ruggiano, who was put on the disabled list April 24, said that he likely will be in Iowa on Sunday and could play Monday.

Fluid bullpen

Hector Rondon appears to have done everything to earn the closer’s job, but Renteria still won’t name him the closer.

Rondon earned his fourth save in as many opportunities and has a 1.40 ERA. Neil Ramirez pitched the eighth inning and hasn’t allowed a run in his last five ­appearances.

“Seeing them in the spring, they had good arms, and the video that I had seen of them at the back end of the season last year looked very promising,” Renteria said. “It just happened that today that’s how it worked out.”


Twitter: @SethGruen

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