OAKLAND – Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood made his final start before Saturday’s announcement of the All-Star teams, looking to earn his first-ever selection to the Midsummer Classic.
Wood pitched well again, but the A’s won the finale 1-0 on a seventh inning passed ball.
“He’s been our All Star, no question about it,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s had some very unfortunate instances that his earned-run average could be quite a bit better without some unfortunate, strange occurrences on the mound.”
Wood is likely to make the team, despite a 5-6 record and no wins over his last six starts. He’s pitched well, recording quality starts in 16 of his 17 outings.
The Cubs finished with only two hits off starter Dan Straily and two relievers. The only run came off reliever Matt Guerrier in the seventh on a passed ball by Welington Castillo.
After Starlin Castro’s two-out single in the ninth off closer Grant Balfour, Nate Schierholtz reached on an error by shortstop Adam Rosales. Alfonso Soriano then flied out to right to end it.
Wood allowed three hits over six shutout innings before being pulled after 101 pitches for Guerrier, acquired from the Dodgers in the Carlos Marmol deal.
Straily gave up one hit- a fourth inning single by Soriano – over seven innings, while striking out six. Castro was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Soriano’s single.
Julio Borbon replaced Brian Boguesvic in center in the third after Bogusevic suffered from left hamstring tightness.
The Cubs finished with a winning record (5-4) on the nine-game road trip to Milwaukee, Seattle and Oakland, but failed to capture their fourth straight series.
“I haven’t had a lot of good memories coming out on the West Coast in my career, whether it’s playing or coaching,” Sveum said. “We won one game west of the Mississippi (River) last year… Today would be a huge game, going back home leading into the break.”
The Cubs come home to Wrigley Field on Friday with a 36-47 record, facing the first-place Pirates.