video thumbnail

HOU@CIN: Wood fans a pair in five scoreless innings

A virus has worked its way through the Cubs clubhouse and into the starting rotation, affecting Sunday's series finale between Chicago and the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Scheduled Cubs starter Matt Garza, whose day to pitch was already bumped back by 24 hours because of his illness, will remain sidelined, and left-hander Travis Wood will throw on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field in his place.

After beginning the season with a 3-11 record, the Cubs are 7-6 in their last 13 games, while the first-place Dodgers are 2-3 on their six-game road trip.

Chicago will make a roster move on Sunday to make way for Wood, who has not appeared in the big leagues yet this season but was with the team this weekend in case his services were required.

"It's unfortunate that [Garza's] not feeling well, but hopefully I can step in and give them a strong outing and give them a chance to win," Wood said.

The left-handed Wood -- acquired in an offseason trade with the Reds -- is 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Iowa this year.

"I felt good," Wood said. "The ball was coming out well, pitches were working well, so we'll see."

Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Aaron Harang, who has a bit of a love-hate relationship with Wrigley, will take the hill opposite Wood.

The right-handed Harang is 6-3 lifetime at Wrigley Field, but the fly-ball pitcher has allowed a whopping 16 homers in 79 2/3 innings there.

Harang surrendered five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings during his last outing -- against the Rockies in Denver -- but at one point retired nine straight hitters.

"Early in the game, I was more aggressive," Harang said afterward. "Once I got to the third time around, I got a little tentative. ... I have to make an adjustment."

Dodgers: Abreu tough against Cubs
• Outfielder Bobby Abreu recorded his first hit in a Dodgers jersey on Saturday, going 1-for-4 with a run scored in Los Angeles' 5-1 win.

Abreu is now hitting .336 (74-for-220) with 16 homers and 57 RBIs in 60 career games against the Cubs. The only player in baseball with a higher career batting average against the Cubs is Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.359).

• With a victory on Saturday, the Dodgers avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Cubs: Flu bug going around
• Aside from Garza, Jeff Baker has also been hit hard by the virus going around the Cubs clubhouse.

"It's some kind of virus that everybody seemed to pick up," manager Dale Sveum said. "[Since-demoted lefty Scott] Maine got it in Philadelphia, and it's kind of snowballed into a lot of guys getting sick on the team."

• Garza is scheduled to pitch next on May 11 in Milwaukee.

• Sveum said that backup catcher Welington Castillo will probably start Sunday's game, giving Geovany Soto a day off.

Worth noting
• The Cubs have scored 51 runs in their 10 wins this year, while scoring just 43 runs in 17 losses (2.5 runs per game).

• The Dodgers took two of three at Wrigley Field last season but are just 9-10 at the ballpark over the last five seasons. In that span, they are 11-7 against the Cubs in Los Angeles.

MLB.com Comments