Jackson Redeems Himself, Helps TB Beat LA

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon is being patient with Edwin Jackson, and the young right-hander showed why Sunday.

Jackson beat his old team for his first win in almost two years, leading the Devil Rays over the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-4.

"We're in a situation now where we are able to work through some difficult moments with him," Maddon said. "It's the potential thing, he's just dripping with that. If the light goes on and he gets a lot of confidence, there's no telling what a guy like this could do because his stuff is that above average."

The 23-year-old Jackson (1-8), acquired by Tampa Bay from the Dodgers in a five-player deal in January 2006, allowed two runs and nine hits over six innings in stopping a franchise record-tying eight-decision losing streak to begin a season.

His previous win was for Los Angeles against Pittsburgh on Sept. 26, 2005.

"It was great, but I've got to stay on myself," Jackson said. "I know it's still a long season and I can't get too comfortable, but at the same time I'll enjoy it."

Ty Wigginton homered and played a key role in a two-run sixth when Tampa Bay went up 4-2.

Brendan Harris opened the sixth with a double off Hong-Chih Kuo (1-3). After Kuo struck out Carl Crawford, reliever Rudy Seanez entered and allowed Wigginton's RBI single that gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead.

Left fielder Luis Gonzalez's throw beat Harris to the plate on Wigginton's hit, but Harris' slide knocked the ball out of catcher Mike Lieberthal's glove. Wigginton eventually scored on a wild pitch by Seanez.

Crawford had a two-run double, and Harris and Young hit RBI singles during a five-run seventh that extended the Devil Rays' lead to 9-2. All five batters Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel reached base and scored.

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in the first when Gonzalez hit a 1-1 pitch into a fish tank in center field that is home to about 30 cownose rays. It was his 10th of the season and No. 335 as a left fielder, which moved him past Ralph Kiner for the third-most ever. Only Barry Bonds and Ted Williams have hit more homers while playing left field.

"At least I didn't kill a ray out there," Gonzalez said. "I won't have any activists after me. Somebody was yelling that out in the stands, and I was a little worried out there."

Gonzalez, from nearby Tampa, hit two homers in the three-game series. They were his first at Tropicana Field since hitting the first homer ever at the stadium on March 31, 1998.

Wigginton homered in the second and Young's RBI single in the fourth tied it at 2.

Kuo gave up three runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one. The left-hander was coming off a start in Toronto where he allowed eight runs over 1 2-3 innings.

James Loney hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers, one day after leaving 15 runners on base in a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay, grounded into three double plays and had two runners thrown out trying to steal during the first six innings.

"It just seemed like nothing was going our way in the early part of the ballgame," manager Grady Little said.


Jackson went 37 games and 15 starts between wins. ... Gonzalez went 2-for-3 against Jackson and has five hits, including three homers, in 10 career at-bats against the right-hander. ... Tampa Bay pitching coach Jim Hickey will undergo surgery Monday to repair a detached retina in his right eye and will miss at least the next two series. Minor league pitching coordinator Dick Bosman will fill in. ... The Devil Rays turned nine double plays in the series.

Updated on Sunday, Jun 24, 2007 5:56 pm EDT

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