Jackson notches first hit, hopes to have impact

Jackson notches first hit, hopes to have impact

CINCINNATI -- It is said that the first one is the toughest.

Cardinals shortstop Ryan Jackson got that elusive first career hit on Thursday against the Astros in a pinch-hit appearance during the fifth inning, slicing a sharp grounder to right field off Dallas Keuchel.

Jackson scored on a three-run double by Matt Holliday.

"It's always a relief to get the first one out of the way," Jackson said. "It definitely takes a little bit of an edge off. The hardest one is the first one."

With the hit, Jackson is at .167 (1-for-6) entering Friday, after being called up just two weeks ago.

He's seen action in five games since his arrival on Aug. 10, but has already taken notice of the added challenge the big leagues presents.

"They execute better," Jackson said. "They make less mistakes, and that's why they're here. They're the best of the best. It's just a matter of getting used to that and getting a feel for what they're trying to do."

The 24-year-old couldn't pick a much better section of the slate to make his impact, as the Cards are on a 10-game stretch of crucial matchups with the division-rival Reds, the Pirates, and the National League-leading Nationals.

"I'm just trying to help out in any way that I can and just soak it all in," Jackson said.