Wood has shortest outing of season as Cubs fall

Wood has shortest outing of season as Cubs fall

Wood has shortest outing of season as Cubs fall

CHICAGO -- The Cubs needed an All-Star effort from Travis Wood on Friday afternoon to have any chance of slowing the Dodgers.

Instead, the Cubs' lone representative at this year's Midsummer Classic turned in one of the worst outings of his career.

Wood lasted only 3 1/3 innings and tied his career high with five walks as the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 6-2, on Friday at Wrigley Field.

"I was battling all day, and you can't have five walks, especially with the team that they are over there and especially with as well as they're playing," Wood said.

It was the second straight day the Cubs were beaten by the white-hot Dodgers, who have won 12 of their last 14 -- and 12 straight on the road. The Cubs have dropped five of their last six.

Wood (7-8) entered Friday tied for third in the Majors in quality starts, as 18 of his 21 outings fit the bill. But Friday's start was anything but quality.

The left-hander allowed a run in the first inning and worked a quick second before things unraveled in the third.

Wood gave up consecutive doubles to Mark Ellis and Nick Punto before issuing four straight one-out walks. He managed to make it out of the third inning despite throwing 41 pitches, but allowed singles to three of the first four batters he faced in the fourth.

Wood's 3 1/3 innings tied the second shortest start of his career, with his only shorter outing a 2 2/3-inning effort on Sept. 24, 2011.

It also marked the fourth time Wood has issued five walks in a game, and the first since last year's season finale.

"It obviously took four months for something like that to happen," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Not too many starters will go through a whole season without having a little hiccup."

Although the Cubs lefty didn't have his best stuff, home-plate umpire Alan Porter's strike zone was in question. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio appeared to disagree with Porter during a mound visit in the third inning, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Ellis were ejected in the fourth after Ellis was rung up.

Wood said he had no issue with the zone.

"No, I felt like I was just missing," Wood said. "As much as I was missing, it made it hard for him to make a good call on a good pitch. It was pretty much all on me. You don't walk [five] guys without something being wrong."

Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-3) made due with the zone, allowing two runs on 11 hits and striking out six in 5 1/3 innings.

Chicago's only runs came on RBI doubles by Darwin Barney in the third and Cole Gillespie in the fourth. Those two also recorded consecutive one-out singles in the sixth to knock out Ryu, but left-hander J.P. Howell induced an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded as the Dodgers tied a franchise record with 12 straight road victories.

"The record shows a lot," Mattingly said. "Good teams, to me, have got to be able to win on the road. It is actually something the guys should be proud of. It shows you can play. Every day you're ready to go."

The sixth inning was one of a handful of missed chances for the Cubs, who stranded 10.

Julio Borbon also made a key baserunning mistake in the ninth with former Cub Carlos Marmol on the hill, getting thrown out at third trying to advance on a ball in the dirt. Borbon was sent down after the game.

"When you're down by four runs and there's no outs you can stand on second base, because we've got to get a bunch of hits," Sveum said. "It's not the brightest thing I've ever seen."

Despite the four-run victory, the Dodgers also had other chances. Los Angeles left 10 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice.

Rookie outfielder Junior Lake led the Cubs by going 4-for-5 with four singles, while Gillaspie was 3-for-4 with two doubles. It was Lake's second four-hit game in 16 contests, making him the first Cub since 1916 to accomplish that feat.

"We can't forget this guy tore up winter ball and was doing really well in Triple-A, as well," Sveum said of Lake, who has seven multi-hit efforts in 16 games. "It's just that time. We've got him [up here] and hopefully all this stuff continues. But we know there's up and downs with this thing as well."

Lake also became the first Major Leaguer in more than a decade to record two four-hit games in his first 16 contests. The last to do so was St. Louis' Bo Hart in June 2003.

"I feel so good," Lake said through a translator. "I see the results of [the work] I do before the game, pregame. Again, I feel so great [about that]."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.