7/9 Cubs 7, Angels 2
Travis Wood finally had both quality and quantity. Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back home runs, Soriano added another solo shot, Darwin Barney belted a three-run blast and Starlin Castro hit a solo homer to support Wood and lift the Cubs to a 7-2 Interleague victory over the Angels on Tuesday night.
“The ‘Sori’ show again continues,” Dale Sveum said of his left fielder, who is batting .400 with eight homers and 17 RBIs in his last 11 games.
Soriano isn’t playing like a 37-year-old.
“I want to hit every inning,” Soriano said. “I feel comfortable and try to enjoy my time because that’s what I like to do. I like to play this game and love what I do.”
Maybe the Cubs are in the wrong league. With the win, they improved to 13-6 against American League teams, matching their win total against the tough National League Central (13-26).
Wood gave up four hits over 6 2/3 innings, including a two-run homer by Albert Pujols in the seventh, No. 489 of his career. It was Wood’s 17th quality start, most in the Major Leagues, and he’s the first Cubs pitcher to record that many before the All-Star break since Greg Maddux did so in 1988. Unfortunately for Wood, he doesn’t have the wins to match.
“He can’t pitch any better baseball,” Sveum said of his lefty. “Besides throwing shutouts, you can’t really pitch any better.”
Sveum and Wood will sit down to talk about the All-Star Game. Wood, who will be the Cubs’ sole representative, and will have one more tuneup before the event, to be played July 16 at Citi Field. Wood wraps up the first half on Sunday night against the Cardinals.
“I would like to pitch,” Wood said. “The ultimate goal is for the season, for the Cubs. We’ll talk it out with them.”
— Carrie Muskat