Dodgers 7, Cubs 3
LOS ANGELES (AP)—For Kerry Wood, Dodger Stadium has been a chamber of horrors.
Chicago’s All-Star right-hander gave up second-inning homers to Adrian Beltre and rookie Jason Grabowski before hurting his arm, and Los Angeles beat the Cubs 7-3 on Tuesday night for its fifth straight victory.
Wood, who struck out more than 200 batters in each of the previous three seasons after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery in April 1999, didn’t come out for the third inning because of tightness in his triceps.
“I didn’t want to come out of the game. I felt like I could have continued to pitch,” Wood said. “I mean, it didn’t kill me out there, but it’s not something you want to play around with in May.
“For the last three years, I’ve made all my starts and haven’t had any problems with anything. So it’s better just to nip this in the bud now and give it time to rest, instead of trying to pitch through it and make it worse.”
The last time Wood (3-3) pitched in Los Angeles, on Aug. 3, 2001, he beat the Dodgers 2-1 with eight innings of three-hit ball—and spent the next month and three days on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder.
In his only other start at Dodger Stadium, Wood lasted only 2 2-3 innings and allowed seven runs in a 12-4 loss on Apr. 24, 1998. This time, he threw 38 pitches and was charged with three runs—two earned—and three hits before Glendon Rusch relieved him.
“I was just trying to get through that second inning,” Wood said. “I didn’t really feel like I had a whole lot of command of what I was doing, as far as location and stuff.”
Beltre, who entered the game with a major league-leading .385 average, led off with his 10th homer—an opposite-field drive to right-center that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
“He’s done it every night, it seems like,” winning pitcher Jeff Weaver said. “Anytime he comes up with runners on base, we feel like they’re going to come around and score. Whether he’s seventh, fifth or third in the lineup, he’s going to be productive. Hopefully, he just keeps rolling.”
Grabowski, starting in left field because of Dave Roberts’ strained right hamstring, homered into the right-field pavilion two batters later on a 1-0 pitch after Juan Encarnacion reached on a throwing error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
The Dodgers, whose 21-10 record is the best in the NL, battered Rusch for four runs and eight hits over the next three innings to take a 7-1 lead. The offense was a welcomed sight for Weaver (2-4), who had only four runs of support in his previous three outings—all losses.
“Anytime you get a lead, you get more relaxed and more confident,” Weaver said. “You can be more aggressive and not worry about the minimal mistakes that go along with the course of the game. I knew things would change with the run support. We’re playing too well for it not to.”
Weaver pitched eight innings, allowing two runs and six hits and striking out seven—including Sammy Sosa three times, leaving the six-time All-Star one home run shy of tying Mike Schmidt for ninth place on the career list at 548.
Rusch got through his first inning unscathed, but gave up hits to four of his first five batters in the fourth with three runs scoring, two on a bases-loaded single by Paul Lo Duca. Cesar Izturis scored when Milton Bradley grounded into a forceout. Alex Cora made it 7-1 in the fifth with an RBI single.
Todd Walker of the Cubs led off the second with a double, advanced to third on Sosa’s single and continued home when the ball popped out of right fielderEncarnacion’s hand as he cocked his arm to throw.
Dodgers C Todd Hundley underwent successful surgery on his left hip Tuesday while continuing to rehab from a back operation. … LHP Kazuhisa Ishii’s scheduled start on Wednesday was pushed back to Friday by the Dodgers because of soreness in the cartilage that’s attached to the left side of his sternum. … Cubs RHP Mark Prior, recovering from inflammation in his right Achilles’ tendon and a sore elbow, will receive his diploma from the Universityof Southern California during Friday’s commencement exercises.