Oakland, CA – Trade rumors don't seem be bothering Cubs starter Matt Garza, as the righty spun eight strong innings of one-run ball to lead Chicago past the Oakland Athletics, 3-1, on Wednesday.
It was the fourth consecutive excellent outing from Garza (4-1), who may be the top available arm come the trade deadline. He allowed just four hits and three walks while striking out five.
"Its as good as I've seen him I think in two years really," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
Garza has been charged with only three runs over his last 30 innings of work. Kevin Gregg finished off his outing with a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.
Luis Valbuena hit a solo homer, Alfonso Soriano knocked in a run and Brian Bogusevic contributed an RBI double among his two hits to help Chicago bounce back from a tough 8-7 loss in this series opener.
Bartolo Colon (11-3) was an unlucky loser as he saw his eight-game winning streak come to an end. He yielded just two runs, but served up nine hits over seven full frames.
Brandon Moss provided the only offense with a solo homer for Oakland, which had won five its last six games coming in.
A two-out wild pitch in the first came back to bite Colon, with Soriano plating Starlin Castro from second with an RBI single to center to open up a 1-0 lead for Chicago.
Valbuena doubled the Cubs' edge in the third with a solo blast in the third.
Garza hung a breaking ball on Moss's two-out homer in the fourth, but scattered just a pair of singles and two walks over the remainder of his start to keep the advantage.
"We just had a tough time figuring out Garza," said Oakland manger Bob Melvin.
Back-to-back doubles from Dioner Navarro and Bogusevic in the eighth off reliever Sean Doolittle provided the Cubs with an insurance run and a 3-1 lead.
John Jaso worked a two-out walk in the ninth and then swiped second, but Gregg stranded him by striking out Josh Reddick to end the game.
Valbuena, Castro and Navarro each scored a run and had two hits for the Cubs, who totaled 12 hits for the game ... Oakland was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position ... Prior to the contest, the Cubs added recent acquisition pitchers Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop to the 25-man roster, designated pitcher Shawn Camp for assignment and optioned Tuesday's spot starter Chris Rusin to Triple-A Iowa.