Cubs 10, Braves 2

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ATLANTA (AP)—Kerry Wood’s uniform was a bloody mess Sunday.

He didn’t mind. It was the Atlanta Braves who were hurting.

Pitching with a cut on his pitching hand, Wood tied a Cubs’ record with seven straight strikeouts and finished with 11 to lead Chicago over the Braves 10-2.

Wood opened a scab on the top of his right thumb and kept having to wipe his hand on his uniform.

“As long as I get the job done, I don’t care what I look like,” Wood said.

Corey Patterson, Michael Barrett, pinch-hitter Alex Gonzalez and Moises Alou homered to back Wood, who allowed one run and five hits in seven innings.

Relying primarily on his fastball and slider, Wood (2-0) got all seven batters to go down swinging during his streak, retiring the first six on sliders.

The streak began in the third, after Mark DeRosa walked, and Marcus Giles singled and stole second. Chipper Jones, J.D. Drew and Andruw Jones fanned, ending the inning.

“With the guys they had up there, that was the turning point of the game,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “Those guys are not easy to strike out.”

Julio Franco, Johnny Estrada and Jesse Garcia struck out in the fourth, and pitcher Russ Ortiz (0-2) struck out opening the fifth. DeRosa then flied to right.

“At that point, he just took control of the game, and it was his game,” said Barrett, the Cubs’ catcher.

Wood also struck out seven straight as a rookie against Houston on May 6, 1998, when he tied the record of 20 in a nine-inning game. Mark Prior also struck out seven straight batters against the Astros on Aug. 5, 2002.

Wood said his index finger on his right hand hit the top of his thumb on some pitches, opening the cut.

“I don’t think you’re allowed to put a Band-Aid on your pitching hand,” Wood said.

Wood, who led the major leagues with 266 strikeouts last year, took a shutout into the seventh before allowing consecutive doubles to Franco and Estrada that made it 4-1. Wood then struck out pinch-hitters DeWayne Wise and Adam LaRoche, and got DeRosa on another flyout.

Added Andruw Jones: “When we had a situation where we could do some damage, he always got out of the jam,” Andruw Jones said.

It was Wood’s 38th game with 10 or more strikeouts.

Barrett hit a three-run homer, an eighth-inning drive off Will Cunnane. Gonzalez and Alou connected off Cunnane in the ninth.

Ortiz (0-2), who lost Monday’s opener to the New York Mets, gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings.

“It was a great step forward for me,” Ortiz said. “Hopefully, I can build off this and keep going.”

Chicago, which outhit the Braves 14-7, built a 3-0 lead on Patterson’s solo homer in the first, Barrett’s sacrifice fly in the second and Alou’s RBI single in the third.

Notes

Atlanta has been outhomered 14-3 this season. … Alou was doubled up at first base in the third by LF Chipper Jones following Aramis Ramirez’s flyout. Ramirez is 7-for-26 (.269) this season with no RBIs. … Atlanta’s Chipper Jones left the game in the sixth inning with a mild strain of his right hamstring. Jones may be able to play Monday at New York, according to Braves manager Bobby Cox. … Todd Hollandsworth started at first base for Chicago. He had not played first base since 1999 with Los Angeles. … Braves SS Rafael Furcal (strained back) and 1B Adam LaRoche (sore foot) were not in the starting lineup. … Cox said placing Furcal on the disabled list is “crossing our minds a little bit.” … Cubs 2B Mark Grudzielanek was held out for the second straight day Sunday. Grudzielanek aggravated a chronic right Achilles’ tendonproblem while playing all 15 innings Friday night.

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