Baseball / Sports

Cubs trim Padres, 3-2

SAN DIEGO--Left-hander Travis Wood was in control on the mound and at the plate for seven innings Saturday night.

Wood allowed two hits until Padres pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin crushed a two-run home run with one out in the eighth, but the Chicago Cubs still held on for a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

At the plate, the Padres found out the hard way that Wood is a good hitter, as Wood delivered a single to score Nate Schierholtz and cap a two-run rally in the sixth.

Wood's hit--his fourth of the season--occurred after the Padres intentionally walked Darwin Barney.

"I was a little bit (surprised)," said Wood, who is 4-for-19 with a home run this season. "And I understand it. I wasn't thinking about the situation in the game, and I looked up and they ended up walking him.

"You know me. I like it."

Wood (5-4) needed only five pitches to get through the third and sixth innings. After Everth Cabrera's single, Wood retired the next eight batters. He didn't walk a batter until issuing a free pass to Yonder Alonso with two outs in the fifth.

"I felt good all game," Wood said. "I made a bad pitch to Quentin. It was a cutter that didn't get it quite inside, and he made me pay for it."

Wood was aided on defense by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who scooped two low throws out of the dirt for the final out of the fourth and sixth. Rizzo also made a leaping catch to rob Chase Headley of a hit with one out in the ninth.

"That ball was hit well, and I just timed it well," Rizzo said. "It's a big play. (There could have been a) runner on second, if not third. It's a good win for us."

The Padres didn't get another hit until Headley hit a single with one out in the seventh, But Wood retired the next two batters.

With one out in the eighth, Wood walked Yasmani Grandal, and Quentin followed with his second pinch-hit home run and the fifth of his career.

Wood has allowed five hits over his past two starts covering 14 1/3 innings.

"He attacks the strike zone and stays down in the zone," manager Rick Renteria said of Wood, who is 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in four career starts at Petco Park. "He's got a good mix. He knows when to take off and put a little on and cut it when he needs to.''

Neil Ramirez relieved Wood and struck out Cabrera and Cameron Maybin, and Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

The Cubs had five career at-bats against Padres starter Billy Buckner, who was promoted from Triple-A El Paso before Saturday's game.

The Cubs broke through against Buckner in the top of the fourth. Luis Valbuena drew a walk and moved around the bases on singles by Welington Castillo and Nate Schierholtz.

In the sixth, Valbuena cranked his third home run of the season, a solo shot that landed inside the right field foul pole.

Schierholtz ripped a double with two out down the right field line. With first base open, the Padres elected to intentionally walk Barney, who collected the Cubs' first hit in the third, to face Wood.

The Cubs (18-29) have now won five of their past seven.

"Knock on wood, we're playing better," Renteria said. "It is about consistency over the long haul. Hopefully, they're putting together some better games and completing some things that obviously need to get done.''

Rizzo sensed a different vibe than earlier this season.

"Guys are being loose," Rizzo said. "That's it. During the season, you're going to have good times and bad times. And we're obviously rolling a bit. And it's nice because we're working hard, and it's nice to win the close games and we just got to keep continue doing it and having fun.

"We're just winning games, so no matter what, everyone is happier. The feeling we have now we need to have every day."

Junior Lake had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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