Travis Wood dominated the Reds in seven innings but Cubs lost 4-2 to the Reds
His last win was more than one month ago, on July 6 facing the Mets. It would be more than appropriate to snap that losing streak facing his former club on Saturday. He gave seven strong innings to the Cubs who had a 2-1 lead when he exited the game. But the bullpen could not preserve that and let the Cincinnati Reds score three runs to defeat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 at Wrigley Field.
Saturday game was also his longest outing since he pitched 7.2 innings on July 1 to beat the Houston Astros. Wood having allowed only one run on five hits, striking out eight and walking one, it was unfortunate for him to finish the day with only a no-decision.
The only run Wood conceded came in the fourth frame. He allowed Brandon Phillips double to left-field with one out and hit Ryan Ludwick with a pitch. Todd Frazier singled to score Phillips. He scattered only two hits after then giving a chance to his team to win.
However, once he left, things went wrong for the Cubs. Replacing Wood in the eighth inning, James Russell (5-1) was the most reliable guy in Cubs’ bullpen lately as he did not allow a run in his last eight appearances. But he chose a bad day to choke up three runs to blow the Cubs’ lead.
The left-handed reliever allowed a double and a single respectively to the lead-off Drew Stubbs and Phillips, who tallied on Ludwick’s double. After grounding Frazier into a double play, he gave up another double to Chris Heisey who scored on Wilson Valdez’s single.
Red starter Bronson Arroyo went deeper than Wood and also had a strong outing retiring 19 of last 20 batters he faced. The right-hander (8-7) completed eight innings giving up two runs on five hits striking out four and walking one. In the ninth, closer Aroldis Chapman retired the Cubs for his 27th save of the year.
Chicago scored two runs to take the lead in the second innings. With one out, Luis Valbuena doubled a line-drive to deep left-field. Bryan LaHair followed with a walk and Steve Clevenger singled to load the bases. After Wood being struck out, David DeJesus hit a line-drive single which plated both Valbuena and LaHair.
With the loss, the Cubs are down 2-1 in this four-game set against the Reds. They will rely on their rookie starter Brooks Raley (0-1, 15.75), who makes his debut at Wrigley Field Sunday, to finish the series with a tie.
By: Patrick Au Yeung