LOS ANGELES — Alex Wood has turned a substitute stint into a full-time gig in the rotation, and isn’t showing any sign of letting go.
He allowed two hits over five scoreless innings, Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Friday night in the series opener.
“It was a pretty beautiful game, for sure,” Wood said.
He extended his career-high scoreless innings streak to 25 1/3, longest in the majors this season. The left-hander began the season in the bullpen and has capitalized after getting a chance to fill in for some of the Dodgers’ injured starters.
“I definitely feel confident now,” Wood said. “The consistency of my stuff has been there and that’s where my confidence is coming from.”
Wood (6-0) struck out eight and walked two.
“I thought it was somewhat of a victory getting Wood out after five,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He started out hot. His numbers were high, but then all of a sudden his velocity came back down. But their bullpen was that good.”
After Wood departed, Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher combined to toss four hitless innings.
The Dodgers have won nine of their last 11 at home, and their 19-8 home record is second-best in the majors.
Jake Arrieta (5-4) continued to struggle for the World Series champions, whose three-game winning streak ended. The right-hander gave up four runs and five hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked one.
“For the most part, it was really good, it really was,” he said. “Just a couple of mistakes came back to get me.”
Arrieta had blanked the Dodgers in 16 consecutive innings and won his last six regular-season starts in California, but they jumped all over his fastball.
Utley homered for the second straight game leading off the third for a 1-0 lead.
“The one that Utley hit out was on the corner,” Arrieta said. “That’s a good piece of hitting.”
The Dodgers made it 2-0 in the fourth. Corey Seager drew a leadoff walk and came home on Yasmani Grandal’s double to deep left center. Seager’s helmet went flying off as he rounded third and narrowly beat the tag at the plate with a head-first slide.
Gonzalez extended the lead to 4-0 on his two-run shot that scored Seager with two outs in the sixth.
Chicago got its only two hits back-to-back in the second on singles by Jason Heyward and Javier Baez. The Cubs had hit 26 home runs in their previous 14 games.