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Wood earns first win in 10 1/2 months, hits clutch RBI for Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Kerry Wood delivered his best start of the season when the Chicago Cubs needed him the most.

Wood pitched six solid innings and hit a key RBI single to get his first win since July 15, leading the Cubs past the Cincinnati Reds 7-3 Monday.

Todd Walker hit a two-run homer and Matt Murton also homered for Chicago, which snapped a six-game losing streak and won for just the fifth time in 26 games.

Making his third start since shoulder surgery last Aug. 31, Wood allowed two runs -- one earned -- and scattered nine hits. He struck out four and walked one.

"Anytime you have Woody on the mound, he makes everybody better," Walker said. "You can hear him yelling out there, he is energetic. As you saw today he does it with the bat, too. I love playing behind him because he brings a lot of energy to the field."

Wood (1-1) helped himself out with an RBI single in the fourth to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. He also doubled in the second inning. Wood said he used his changeup to keep Cincinnati off balance.

"I made some good pitches and mixed in just about everything," he said. "The changeup was pretty good for me today. I threw it more than I normally do and it was working, I was getting them to put the ball in play and trying to keep the pitch count down the best I could and we just stuck with it."

Adam Dunn hit a solo shot in the eighth inning for the Reds, who lost for the 15th time in 24 games.

Murton led off the sixth with his fourth home run and Walker made it 6-2 with a two-run drive off Kent Mercker in the seventh. Walker went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

The Cubs had a team meeting before the game.

"It was kind of a rallying the troops kind of a thing. We obviously had our struggles and we have to put that behind us now and try to win baseball games," Murton said. "Unfortunately we have been really close in a lot of these games and we found a way to let it slip away."

Ryan Dempster, who had three blown saves in his previous four outings, struck out Austin Kearns for the final out in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 12 opportunities.

Ryan Freel doubled against Dempster in the ninth but the replays clearly showed the ball bouncing out of the basket in left-center, signifying a home run. Reds manager Jerry Narron spoke to second base umpire Jim Joyce. The umpires gathered together to discuss it and agreed with the original call. Narron again went to speak to Joyce before leaving the field.

"They (umpires) do the very best they can. If it would have been a one-run game, I would still be out there on the field," Narron said.

Chicago's Tony Womack doubled against his former club in the first inning and scored on Walker's two-out single. Aramis Ramirez followed with a bloop double down the line in right to drive in Walker and give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Womack began the season with Cincinnati, which designated him for assignment April 24. He signed a minor league deal with Chicago on May 17 and batted .467 in five games for Triple-A Iowa before the Cubs purchased his contract on Friday.

Trailing 2-0, Brandon Phillips led off the third against Wood with a single and went to second on a passed ball. Phillips moved to third on a groundout and scored on Felipe Lopez's two-out single.

Kearns drove in Ken Griffey Jr. with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to tie it.

Elizardo Ramirez (2-4) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings for Cincinnati.

"He's done a good job for us. We don't have any complaints. Everybody is pretty happy with the way he's pitched," Narron said.

Notes

  • After 3B Aramis Ramirez caught a popup in the third inning he received sarcastic applause from the fans after dropping a popup that led to the winning run in Sunday's extra-inning loss to the Braves.
  • SS Lopez committed his 11th error of the season by overthrowing first base on Womack's grounder in the third inning.
  • Walker stayed in the game after taking a hard grounder from Griffey off his body in the fourth inning. Walker was shaken up at first, but stayed in the game after meeting with the team trainer and Cubs manager Dusty Baker.
  • Actor Vince Vaughn was the guest singer for Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
  • Phillips left the game with a tight right hamstring in the fifth inning.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kerry Wood records his first win of the season after striking out four in six solid innings.  (AP)
Kerry Wood records his first win of the season after striking out four in six solid innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

T. Walker
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS5011011 .295
Adam Dunn, LF4111011 .230
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4120010 .248
Rich Aurilia, 3B4020001 .262
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3000102 .291
Austin Kearns, RF3001032 .293
Brandon Phillips, 2B1110100 .309
    Ryan Freel, 2B2010010 .252
Jason LaRue, C3000114 .197
Elizardo Ramirez, P2000011 .182
   a- Quinton McCracken, PH1000001 .189
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
    Rick White, P0000000 .000
    Brian Shackelford, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1000001 .230
Totals333833914 
a-grounded out for Ramirez in the 7th
b-fouled out for Shackelford in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rich Aurilia (6, Eyre), Ryan Freel (8, Dempster)
HR - Adam Dunn (17, Eyre)
SF - Austin Kearns (3)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (19), Adam Dunn (32), Austin Kearns (31)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez (4)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Felipe Lopez (11, Wild throw)
Cincinnati Reds
Elizardo Ramirez (L,2-4) 6944031 4.11
Kent Mercker 1222001 7.45
Rick White 0.2111000 6.64
Brian Shackelford 0.1100000 7.71
WP - Rick White (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Elizardo Ramirez 80-62, Rick White 7-5, Brian Shackelford 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Elizardo Ramirez 11-5, Kent Mercker 1-2, Rick White 1-1, Brian Shackelford 1-0
Batters Faced - Elizardo Ramirez 28, Kent Mercker 5, Rick White 3, Brian Shackelford 2
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4011001 .234
Tony Womack, 2B5120003 .367
Michael Barrett, C4100012 .285
Todd Walker, 1B4233001 .309
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4011012 .238
Jacque Jones, RF4000002 .273
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
Matt Murton, LF4221000 .286
Ronny Cedeno, SS4120000 .288
Kerry Wood, P2021000 .600
   a- Freddie Bynum, PH1000010 .222
    David Aardsma, P0000000 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Jerry Hairston Jr., RF1000001 .210
Totals3771370312 
a-struck out for Wood in the 6th
Batting
2B - Tony Womack (3, Ramirez), Aramis Ramirez (10, Ramirez), Kerry Wood (1, Ramirez)
3B - Juan Pierre (3, Shackelford)
HR - Todd Walker (3, Mercker), Matt Murton (4, Ramirez)
SH - Juan Pierre (6)
RBI - Juan Pierre (4), Todd Walker 3 (25), Aramis Ramirez (25), Matt Murton (20), Kerry Wood (2)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Pierre (1), Todd Walker (5), Aramis Ramirez (10)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Womack-Walker
PB - Michael Barrett (6)
Chicago Cubs
Kerry Wood (W,1-1) 6521140 4.50
David Aardsma (H,1) 1000120 9.00
Scott Eyre 0.2211101 1.71
Ryan Dempster (S,9) 1.1100030 3.75
WP - Kerry Wood (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kerry Wood 70-48, David Aardsma 17-11, Scott Eyre 17-9, Ryan Dempster 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kerry Wood 9-4, David Aardsma 1-0, Scott Eyre 2-0
Batters Faced - Kerry Wood 23, David Aardsma 4, Scott Eyre 5, Ryan Dempster 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40072
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Paul Schrieber