MIAMI (AP) — The Chicago Cubs’ Travis Wood has pitched well so far this season but hasn’t been given much support.
The left-hander hasn’t helped himself in his two career starts against the Miami Marlins and will try to end those woes while helping the Cubs extend their first win streak of the season Saturday night.
Wood (1-1, 2.08 ERA) has given up three runs or fewer and pitched at least six innings in each of his four starts this season, but has been given only a combined four runs of support. He got two runs in Cincinnati on Monday but exited a tied game in the seventh inning of a 5-4 loss.
This time, he’ll get to face the team with the worst record in the majors but Wood is 0-2 with a 16.88 ERA in his two starts against the Marlins (5-18), easily his worst against any opponent. Neither of those starts were in Miami, including a 9-5 loss for the Cubs on July 17.
Wood was charged with eight runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings in that game but will take on a club that’s batted .189 while going 2-9 at home. That’s played a significant part in the Marlins matching their worst start in franchise history.
Miami is also the only remaining team in the majors that hasn’t recorded back-to-back wins.
“We just have to keep talking to them,” manager Mike Redmond said. “If they see me starting to panic, then that puts more pressure on everybody else. I’m not that way.”
After scoring 15 runs in the first six of 10 consecutive road games, the Cubs (8-14) have produced a combined eight in their first two in Miami. Florida native Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs in Friday’s 4-2 victory and recent addition Kevin Gregg converted his second straight save opportunity.
“You can say it as many times as you want, but winning is so much more fun than losing,” pitcher Scott Feldman said. “Hopefully this is a start to a little hot streak here and we can keep playing well.”
Rizzo’s eight home runs in April are a franchise record for a left-handed hitter. He also has team-best 18 RBIs despite hitting just .200.
“It’s all about production and that’s what I’m supposed to do. After yesterday, it means a lot,” said Rizzo, who went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the series opener and was 1 for 20 before Friday’s win.
While seeking to provide a more consistent effort, Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.09) will try to help the Marlins avoid a season high-tying fourth straight home loss and their third in a row overall. The right-hander gave up five runs over six-plus innings in a 10-6 defeat in Cincinnati on Sunday.
He allowed three of those during an eight-run seventh, which he was forced to pitch because of a tired bullpen.
“He did everything he could; I could not ask anything more from him,” Redmond told the team’s website.
Sanabia was on the wrong end of a 2-0 result in his only start against the Cubs on Sept. 17, 2010. He gave up two runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in that game.
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