Cubs pinch-hitting pitcher Travis Wood delivers game-winner in 13th
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter June 16, 2014 11:04PM
Updated: June 16, 2014 11:22PM
MIAMI – Maybe now Rick Renteria will consider batting Travis Wood higher in the order when he pitches?
One night after pitching eight brilliant innings in Philadelphia to give the Cubs their first road series win of the year, Wood came off the bench in the 13th inning Monday night to deliver a go-ahead, two-out double in a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins in the opener of a three-game series.
The double just inside the bag at third drove home Junior Lake from first and gave the Cubs their first pair of back-to-back victories on a road trip this season.
It was their fourth victory in eight games so far on this three-city road trip that concludes with games Tuesday and Wednesday at Marlins Park.
The Cubs bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings, including two hitless innings by Carlos Villanueva (3-5), who earned the victory.
Wood, who raised his season average to .276 with the big hit, has the highest slugging percentage (.552) on the team. When the pitcher’s spot came up in the order in the 13th only catcher Eli Whiteside remained on the bench among non-pitchers.
Starlin Castro delivered his second straight three-hit game, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth.
Until that inning, Marlins starter Tom Koehler had allowed only one batter to reach base – on a ground-ball single to left by Mike Olt.
But an infield single by John Baker and back-to-back one-out hits by Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano loaded the bases for Anthony Rizzo – who drove in the Cubs’ first run with a grounder to first.
Castro followed with the homer that put the Cubs ahead 4-3.
Giancarlo Stanton, who was intentionally walked in the 11th with a man at second and two out, was in the middle of all three early runs for the Marlins. He drove in two with a first-inning homer, then singled with two out in the third and stole home, just ahead of Casey McGehee’s run-scoring single.
After the Cubs took the lead in the top of the sixth, Jason Hammel gave up the tying run in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff triple by Marcell Ozuna followed by Adeiny Hechavarria’s sacrifice fly.
Hammel, the focus of a large number of scouts from teams seeking pitching at the deadline, was done after that sixth inning. He struck out nine but gave up eight hits and had runners on base in all but one inning.