Cubs waste another Travis Wood quality start in loss to A’s
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org July 4, 2013 6:08PM
Updated: July 4, 2013 8:09PM
OAKLAND, Calif. — Of all the ways the Cubs have found to lose games started by Travis Wood this season, this one had to be the worst.
A two-out passed ball surrendered by catcher Welington Castillo allowed Derek Norris to score from third base in the seventh inning as the Cubs lost to the Oakland Athletics 1-0.
Wood pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, before handing off to the bullpen after 101 pitches.
Newly acquired Matt Guerrier (2-4) was on the mound when the passed ball got by Castillo and was charged with the loss.
Castillo said his unfamiliarity with Guerrier played a role in the passed ball.
“But I don’t want to make that excuse,” he said.
Wood’s counterpart, Dan Straily (5-2), earned the win. He allowed only a fourth-inning single to Alfonso Soriano in seven innings.
Soriano’s hit looked like it would score a run, but Starlin Castro — who had walked and advanced to second on a grounder — was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
“It seemed like a no-brainer right off the bat [that Castro would score],” manager Dale Sveum said. “I was shocked that anybody could get thrown out on that.”
Castro said he was, too.
“It surprised me. I thought I’d score easy,” he said. “And I never stopped. I ran hard right away. I ran all the way. He surprised me. I said, `Wow.’ ”
Wood recorded his major-league leading 16th quality start in 17 outings this season, but he was left with a sixth no-decision.
“He’s been our All-Star, no question about it,” Sveum said of the left-hander with a 5-6 record despite a team-leading ERA of 2.69.
“His earned-run average could be quite a bit better than it is without some unfortunate, strange occurrences on the mound.”
The Cubs finished the road trip 5-4.