Baseball / Sports

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson reacts after giving up a two-run home run to the Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson in the fourth inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The Braves won, 11-6. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Braves jump on Travis Wood early, topple Cubs, 10-7

The Chicago Cubs could use a break.

Sunday's 10-7 series finale loss against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field was their last game before the All-Star break. Besides NL All-Stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, the rest of the Cubs are looking forward to a few days off.

"It's important in that you are going to try to step back and take a breath," manager Rick Renteria said before the game. "I don't know if you can completely shut yourself off. It's kind of hard because you have been grinding for four months, or whatever it has been since spring training. It's kind of hard to shut it down. You might be able to take a little breath, but we will all be thinking baseball."

The Cubs sent left-hander Travis Wood (7-7, 4.64) to the mound to face Julio Teheran (8-6, 2.57). Wood gave up seven runs in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.

The Braves jumped on Wood for three runs in the second inning. Gerald Laird pulled a bases-loaded double just inside the third base bag to tally two runs. Then Tommy La Stella scored from third on a ground out by Teheran.

Wood was tagged for four more runs in the third inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Chris Johnson, his third in the past two days.

Renteria deployed left-fielder Chris Coghlan in the leadoff spot Sunday, with rookie Arismendy Alcantara starting at second base and batting second. Alcantara hit his first major league homer in the sixth inning. The two-run shot made it 7-2. He had doubled in the first inning.

The Braves went ahead 10-2 when La Stella cleared the bases on a bases-loaded double off reliever Zac Rosscup in the seventh inning.

The Cubs pulled to within 10-4 on a two-run homer by Coghlan in the seventh.

Coghlan had two doubles and tied a career high with three RBIs against the Braves on Saturday.

"He has been taking advantage of the opportunity he has had," Renteria said. "He has had some really good at-bats. I think he has been grinding, I think he has been working very hard. As his offense has started to pick up, his confidence has continued to grow. But he is not a person who lacks confidence. He feels pretty good about who he is and he sees himself as a very good player. He has been going out and putting it together a little bit."

The Cubs rallied in the eighth inning to pull within 10-7. Ryan Sweeney drew a bases-loaded walk and John Baker hit a two-run double.

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