CINCINNATI - Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has pitched well enough to beat his former team this season. He finally was rewarded on Monday night.
The left-hander allowed six hits, including three doubles, but he didn't walk anybody and no Cincinnati runner got past second base in his seven innings as the Cubs edged the Reds, 2-0, before a crowd of 22,920 at Great American Ball Park.
"It's the first time I've ever beaten them," Wood said. "That's really nice. I've pitched some good games against them, and they've gotten me a few times, too, so this one was nice."
Pedro Strop pitched the eighth inning and Kevin Gregg earned his 31st save with a scoreless ninth, giving the Cubs their sixth shutout win of the season while handing the Reds their 10th shutout loss. The Cubs had nine shutout wins last season, while the Reds had four shutout losses.
Wood (9-11) went into the game 0-4 with a 4.15 earned-run average in six starts against Cincinnati, which sent him to Chicago in a trade for left-handed relief pitcher Sean Marshall before the 2012 season. Wood, who struck out seven and hit a batter on Monday, was 0-3 with a 3.67 ERA in three starts this year.
"The luck he's had this year, it's just gratifying to see him get a win at any time," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who agreed with the suggestion that Wood has morphed into the Cubs' No. 1 starter. "He's had some tough luck this year."
Wood, a member of the National League team for the All-Star Game, didn't issue a walk for the second time this season and 11th time in his career. He didn't allow a run for the sixth time this season.
"He's an All-Star," Reds manager Dusty Baker pointed out. "He was able to make his pitches when he needed to. We had men in scoring position seven times in the game, we just couldn't get that hit tonight."
That was especially true in the fifth, when Wood slipped called third strikes past Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto following Shin-Soo Choo's one-out double.
"Yeah, Woodie can pitch," Baker said. "You hate to see strikeouts in those situations. It means you don't have a chance. He made quality pitches all night."
"It was good tonight," Wood said. "I had command of all my pitches. I was able to get some quick outs. I kept them off-balance. They strung some hits together, but I was able to keep them off the scoreboard. That's a good ballclub over there. I was happy with the outcome."
The Reds were coming off a three-game sweep of the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers that left them 6-1 through the first seven games of their 10-game homestand.
They went into the Chicago series -- the last between the teams this season -- 13-3 against the Cubs in 2013.
But the Cubs reached Reds starter Bronson Arroyo for one-out solo home runs in back-to-back innings to take a 2-0 lead after three innings. In the second, Ryan Sweeney connected for his sixth homer, a 365-foot shot into the right field seats on a 1-1 pitch. Luis Valbuena followed in the third with his 11th, a 392-foot poke to right field on a 1-1 pitch.
"We battled," an appreciative Wood said. "We grinded. We got some big at bats from Sweeney and Valbuena. Arroyo battled all night He kept us off-balance for the most part. We ran into a couple there."
Arroyo (13-11) pitched well enough to win, allowing seven hits and no walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.
"Today was a day when he did a little bit better than I did," Arroyo said, referring to his former teammate, Wood. "We had a good run against the Cardinals and the Dodgers. It would have been nice to continue it tonight, but that's what good pitching does. We've been rolling and winning some ballgames. It was just a hard-fought game where you don't feel you pitched that bad. The guy on the other side just does a little better job than you."
NOTES: The game was the first of the Cubs' 11-game, 11-day trek through Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, their longest road trip since a 12-game, 11-day trip in September 2004. ... Wood hit Choo with a pitch with one out in the fourth inning, giving Choo the Reds' single-season franchise record for being hit by pitches, 25. The previous record was set by Jason LaRue in 2004. ... Reds SS Zack Cozart extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a fourth-inning, two-out double to left field.