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updated: 3/17/2014 8:43 PM

Jackson leads Cubs to split-squad win over Angels

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Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. -- Edwin Jackson threw four scoreless innings and Darnell McDonald had two hits, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in a split-squad game on Monday.

Jackson allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six.

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"It was one of those (outings) where you come out and pitch when you don't necessarily have your best stuff," he said. "I had to throw a lot of pitches for strikes and fortunate enough to get out of some jams early.

"It's the time now when you can really work on pitch selection, stretch the innings and now worry about the results."

Jackson struck out Carlos Pena with the bases loaded to end the first inning.

Joe Blanton pitched 5 1-3 innings for Los Angeles and was charged with three runs and four hits. The veteran right-hander has pitched well since moving from the first-base side of the pitching rubber to the third-base side before his last spring start.

Chicago scored three times with two out in the third. Emilio Bonifacio drove in McDonald with a triple, and then scored on Ryan Roberts' double. Anthony Rizzo singled in Roberts.

Jackson was making his first spring start since March 7. He had a minor-league outing in between his Cactus League starts, and feels he is on schedule.

"I'm pretty close," he said. "The main thing is being comfortable, being able to go out have a steady rhythm every time. I've been working on having the hitters put the ball in play and I've been able to do that."

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro said he thinks he will be ready for the season opener a day after running sprints at about 80 percent and taking some ground balls. He is expected to run the bases on Tuesday.

He has been hampered by a hamstring injury.

"I'm not too worried about Starlin, to be honest with you," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "His demeanor is pretty positive, pretty upbeat, and I think he's trying to get himself ready for the season."

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