Chicago (40-40) at Atlanta (45-37)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jul 4, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Chicago starter Kerry Wood looked sharp in his return from the disabled list.

He’ll try help the Cubs snap a four-game losing streak when they open a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

Wood made his first start in nearly two months on Wednesday, and allowed one earned run and two hits over six innings, but did not get a decision in the Cubs’ 3-2 win over Milwaukee. The hard-throwing right-hander had not pitched since April 30 because of a strained right shoulder.

“I wasn’t trying to do too much,” said Wood, whose velocity reached 97 mph. “I was putting my fastball pretty much where I wanted to. My slider was good early, and I dropped in a couple of good curveballs.”

Wood, who threw 91 pitches, struck out a season-high nine, walked two and threw first-pitch strikes to 16 hitters. He made his return just three days after Mark Prior made his first appearance since a line drive broke a bone in his right elbow on May 27.

“It’s nice to be back contributing, competing out there with my teammates and going through it with them,” Wood said.

Wood, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, said his shoulder felt fine.

“It’s a lot easier to pitch when you don’t have anything bothering you,” he said.

The Cubs are coming off being swept at home by Washington, including a 5-4, 12-inning loss on Sunday. Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run game-tying homer off Nationals closer Chad Cordero in the ninth inning and Jerry Hairston led off the 11th with a homer for Chicago.

Todd Hollandsworth also doubled in a run in the 11th for Chicago.

“You have to give them a little bit of credit for continuing to pound on us,” Chicago’s Todd Walker said. “They did all the things right this series.”

The Braves beat Philadelphia 4-3 on Sunday for their 12th win in 17 games. Ryan Langerhans hit a leadoff triple in the ninth and scored the tiebreaking run on a sacrifice fly for Atlanta, which won for the first time this season when trailing by at least three runs.

“It’s good to come from behind and win a game every once in a while,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “It kind of boosts you up.”

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Starting Pitchers

K. Wood ChC vs. K. Davies NYY
3-4 Record 7-6
4.23 ERA 4.93
77 K 62
26 BB 49
1.18 WHIP 1.68