Travis Wood aims to win his third straight start today when the Cubs try to complete a sweep of the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field.
Despite winning four of their last five contests and going for a three-game sweep for the first time since May 28-30 vs. San Diego, the Cubs are languishing in last place in the NL Central.
Wood has pitched masterfully over his last two starts, allowing a total of one run. He blanked the Mets over seven frames on Monday and is 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA in six all-time games against the Astros.
Wandy Rodriguez, who has gone 0-1 over his last two starts, toes the rubber for Houston. The lefty gave up eight hits and five runs over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Padres on Monday. He's 6-6 with a 3.84 ERA in 20 lifetime games against the Cubs.
Cubs highly-touted prospect, Anthony Rizzo, delivered on some of his promise Saturday, hitting a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth in a 3-2 win.
The bomb was Rizzo's first in a Chicago uniform and second at the major league level. The 22-year-old first baseman was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on June 26.
"He's done a great job producing and doing what he does," remarked Cubs starter Matt Garza of Rizzo. "Let the guy enjoy it. He's going to be a great one."
Rizzo's blast put Garza (4-6) on the winning side of the decision after the righty navigated through trouble all afternoon, allowing two runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Garza had lost five of his previous six decisions coming into the game.
"We had runners all over the place, no doubt," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "We were putting together good at-bats."
J.A. Happ (6-8) gave up all three runs with two outs in the fifth and took the loss. He gave up five hits and walked four in six innings. The left-hander also struck out six.
"He threw the ball really well and battled all the way through," Mills said.
Jordan Schafer and J.D. Martinez each knocked in a run for the Astros, who have lost three straight since winning four of five contests.
Prior to this series, the Astros had won four straight over the Cubs, including a three-game sweep at home from May 21-23.