Travis Wood makes his first career appearance against his former team this afternoon when the Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds in the third portion of a four-game series.
Wood, who has lost his last five starts and hasn't won since July 6 on the road against the Mets, went 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA through 39 games (35 starts) in two seasons with the Reds. The left-hander was traded to Chicago in the offseason in a deal that sent reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati.
Bronson Arroyo counters for the Reds and aims to continue his amazing success at Wrigley Field intact. In his last six starts at Wrigley Field, the righty is 4-0 with a 2.58 ERA. Arroyo is 9-9 all-time against the Cubs, including a 6-3 mark in 13 games (12 starts) at Wrigley Field.
Arroyo had won three consecutive starts until this past Monday at Milwaukee when he allowed 10 hits and five runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 defeat.
The NL Central-leading Reds evened the series with a 10-8 triumph yesterday. Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI to help end Cincinnati's five-game skid.
"It's a new day," Frazier said. "We don't harp on what happened yesterday or the day before. This is a pretty good win for us."
The Cubs had a base running mistake in the sixth. Starlin Castro was thrown out at third base after losing track of a single from Josh Vitters.
"I'm a little upset today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said following the defeat. "Some things aren't acceptable when some things are taken for granted. It wasn't just the base running blunder either."
Ryan Ludwick had three hits, including a two-run homer, and scored four runs for the Reds, who improved to 20-8 since the All-Star break.
Homer Bailey (10-7) earned the win after giving up four runs on nine hits and striking out five over 5 2/3 innings.
Aroldis Chapman picked up his 26th save after recording the last out of the eighth before tossing a perfect ninth.
Alfonso Soriano drove in three runs and Castro had two hits and two RBI for the Cubs, losers in nine of their last 10 games.
Justin Germano (1-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.
The Reds have won four of the seven meetings this season.