The Chicago Cubs finally broke out offensively at Wrigley Field on Friday. Today, they will try to win back-to-back home games for the first time since early July.
The Cubs haven't won two in a row at Wrigley Field since July 7 and 11 when they beat the Pirates and Angels, respectively. They've won just two of their last 13 at Wrigley Field, but that includes a 7-0 victory yesterday versus the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of this three-games series.
Travis Wood aims to end his winless skid this afternoon for the Cubs. The lefty is 0-2 over his last three appearances and is coming off a tough loss to the Reds on Monday when he gave up only four hits and two runs in eight innings.
Over nine career starts against the Cardinals, Wood is 3-3 with a 4.61 ERA.
Joe Kelly counters for the Cardinals, who enter the day three games behind first-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central. The right-hander, who will make his eighth start of the season and the 24th of his career, hasn't lost since June 5 against Arizona. He's 2-0 over his last 11 appearances.
Kelly's 1.87 ERA since June 1 is third-best among major leaguers with at least 40 innings thrown. He's faced the Cubs three times in his career, going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA.
Yesterday, Jake Arrieta and the Cubs held the Cardinals without a run. Arrieta (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Iowa to make his second start with the club since being acquired from Baltimore on July 2, surrendered only two Carlos Beltran hits and struck out seven over seven innings.
"I think the atmosphere at Wrigley is going to be pretty intense every time I take the mound," Arrieta said. "I know all about the rivalry and it's something I'm excited to be a part of."
Nate Schierholtz drove in three of Chicago's runs.
Jake Westbrook (7-8) lost his fifth consecutive road start after allowing seven runs -- six earned -- on eight hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings.
"It's not what any of us were looking for. He had trouble finding the release point for his sinker," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said about Westbrook. "He just couldn't find the feel for it."
The teams have split 14 meetings this season.