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Wood makes another quality start, Cubs beat Rockies

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood is rewriting Chicago Cubs' record books with a continuing run of quality starts.

Wood had yet another in Monday night's 9-1 victory over Colorado, becoming only the second Cubs left hander with eight quality starts to begin a season since Hippo Vaughn in 1919.

A winner for the third time in his past four starts, Wood (4-2) struck out two, walked three and worked at least seven innings for the third time this season.

"We played outstanding on all cylinders," Wood said. "I'm fortunate enough to have good games so far and command of my pitches and keep them off balance. The team has pretty much played outstanding behind me."

The eight quality starts also leads the Major Leagues.

Alfonso Soriano went 2-for-4 and his two-run homer provided all the runs Wood would need as the Cubs won their third straight.

"The bottom line is that we got good pitches to hit and took full advantage of the pitchers' mistakes," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said. "And Soriano's home run was huge to start the game off."

Colorado right-hander Juan Nicasio (3-1) settled down after two rough early innings and worked through the sixth. He allowed eight hits and five runs while walking one and striking out two.

But one pitch he'd like to have back was the one he made to Soriano.

"I tried to throw the ball down (early)," he said. "(In first inning) I threw a slider to Soriano for a strike."

But Soriano made solid contact and sent the ball more than 400-feet for a two-run homer.

David DeJesus, Starlin Castro, Soriano and Nate Schierholtz each had two hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, who pounded out 14 hits.

Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo, recipient of a seven-year, $41 million contract extension earlier Monday, went 1-for-5 with a seventh-inning single.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol gave up a one-out solo home run to Josh Rutledge in the ninth to end the shutout bid.

The Cubs opened a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Soriano's fourth home run of the year. DeJesus led off the inning with a double. Soriano's blast came on an 0-1 count with two outs.

The homer was the 376th of Soriano's career, moving the left fielder into a tie for 69th all-time with Carlton Fisk.

Chicago added three more runs in the second, all with two outs.

Wood contributed with his bat, doubling home Welington Castillo for a 3-0 lead. DeJesus walked to put runners on first and second. That set the stage for Castro's two-run double to left-center for a 5-0 advantage.

It was the most runs Nicasio has allowed in any game this season.

"The game got away us a little bit early," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "To Juan's credit, he ended up giving us six innings, had a rough start though. And the offense struggled again.

"We need to string together some at-bats, string together some hits. We haven't done that lately."

NOTES: The Rockies haven't beaten the Cubs in a three-game series at Wrigley Field since 2006, when they took two of three from Sept. 29-Oct 1. ... The big Cubs headline came earlier Monday when the team announced Rizzo's new contract. The deal runs through 2019 and includes club options for 2020 and 2021. Since being recalled by the Cubs on June 26, 2012, Rizzo has hit .282 with 25 doubles, 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 125 games. ... Cubs RHP Kevin Gregg recorded his 150th career save Sunday in Washington, making him the 75th pitcher in major-league history to collect at least that many. ... The three-game series continues Tuesday night with Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (1-3. 6.90 ERA) facing Cubs RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 3.02 ERA).

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