Game Thirty-Eight – Cubs 9, Rockies 1
WP – Travis Wood (4-2) LP – Juan Nicasio (3-1) Save – None
The Cubs equaled their season-long winning streak with an impressive victory over the Rockies on Monday night. Dale Sveum’s team won for the third day in a row behind seven innings of shutout ball from Travis Wood and eight extra basehits from the offense that included six more doubles.
Travis Wood was excellent once again on Monday night and became the first Cubs’ pitcher since Hippo Vaughn in 1919 to record eight straight quality starts to begin a season. Wood tossed seven innings of shutout ball while allowing only two singles and three walks. Wood kept the leadoff hitter off base over the first six innings and the Rockies did not put a runner in scoring position until the seventh inning. Wood struck out two and threw 98 pitches, 58 for strikes, in route to his fourth win of the season. Wood helped his own cause with a RBI double in the second inning and finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a RBI and a run scored.
Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI) launched his fourth homer of the year onto Waveland Avenue in the first inning. Soriano’s two-run homer gave Travis Wood all of the runs he would need. The Cubs added three runs in the second on three doubles, one each by Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored), Travis Wood (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-3 with a double, a walk, HBP, two RBI and a run scored). The offense tacked on four more runs in the seventh and eighth innings on a two-run triple by Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI) and a two-run single by David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk).
The Cubs scored nine runs on 14 hits with two walks and a HBP. The offense went 6-for-18 with RISP and left six men on base. The Cubs hit six more doubles on Monday night and have hit 19 in three of the last four games … seven on Friday, six on Saturday and six on Monday.
Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts. The Rockies only run of the night came in the ninth off Carlos Marmol. Josh Rutledge hit a solo homer with one down before Marmol struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki swinging to end the game.
Alfonso Soriano moved into a tie with Carlton Fisk on the All-Time Home Run list. Soriano’s two-run homer in the first inning was the 376th of his career … next up for Soriano on the All-Time list are Norm Cash (377) and Jeff Kent (377) and Matt Williams (378).
With Monday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 11-9 over the last 20 games and 16-22 on the season.
Travis Wood struck out two of the first three batters he faced to begin his night. Wood needed only 16 pitches, 10 for strikes, to retire the side in order in the first.
David DeJesus worked a full count before pulling a double into right to lead off the game for the Cubs. Castro grounded out to short and Rizzo lined a 3-2 pitch into center that almost sailed over Eric Young Jr.’s head.
Alfonso Soriano stepped in and launched a 0-1 pitch onto Waveland. Soriano’s fourth homer of the season not only put the Cubs up 2-0 but it tied him with Carlton Fisk for 69th on the All-Time home run list. Nate Schierholtz followed with a bloop single to left. Schierholtz was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Travis Wood gave up a two-out single to Todd Helton in the second, but that was all. Wood threw 36 pitches, 23 for strikes, over the first two frames.
The Cubs jumped on Juan Nicasio in the second and scored three more runs thanks to three doubles. Ransom was caught looking to start the inning. Welington Castillo worked a 3-1 count then pulled a double into the left field corner. Barney grounded out to short, Castillo advanced to third and trotted home when Travis Wood pulled a 2-0 pitch into the gap in left center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Wood ended up a second. DeJesus walked.
Starlin Castro placed a 1-0 pitch down the right field line. Wood and DeJesus scored, 5-0 Cubs, on Castro’s ninth double of the year. Anthony Rizzo launched a 0-1 pitch to deep right that Charlie Blackmon hauled in with his back to the vines to end the inning.
At the end of two, the Cubs led 5-0 … and the game remained 5-0 Cubs through the top of the seventh inning.
The Rockies did not put a runner into scoring position until the seventh inning when Travis Wood began running out of gas. Wood issued a pair walks in the seventh before retiring Todd Helton on a flyout to center for the third out.
The Cubs tacked on to their lead in the seventh. Starlin Castro reached on a one-out infield single to the hole at second base. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to left center (3-2 pitch). Castro advanced to third with one out. Adam Ottavino struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging for the second out.
Nate Schierholtz lined a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Carlos Gonzalez slipped near the sidewall, the ball bounced away and both Castro and Rizzo scored on Schierholtz’s first triple of the season. Cody Ransom flied out to right for the third out.
At the end of seven, the Cubs led 7-0.
Kyuji Fujikawa struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
Welington Castillo led off the Cubs’ eighth with the team’s sixth double of the game. Darwin Barney reached on an infield single to third. Nolan Arenado fielded the ball behind the bag, bluffed his throw to first to try to get Castillo to break. Barney reached first without a throw. Wilton Lopez retired Julio Borbon on a grounder to second. Castillo and Barney moved to second and third then scored on a single to right by David DeJesus … 9-0 Cubs. Starlin Castro walked but Rizzo grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Carlos Marmol took over in the ninth with a 9-0 lead.
Josh Rutledge broke-up the shutout with a one-out homer to left center. Marmol retired three of the four batters he faced … including striking out both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki swinging to end the game.
Carlos Villanueva faces lefty Jeff Francis in game two on Tuesday night.