Cubs drop Marlins in 13th inning as Travis Wood delivers with bat
MIAMI — Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood delivered a victory from the mound on Sunday. A day later, he did the same from the batter’s box.
The pinch-hitting pitcher had an RBI double with two outs in the 13th inning, giving the Chicago Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.
“I knew I was coming up that inning, so I had been stretched out, swinging down in the tunnel,” Wood said. “I came up, luckily Junior got on and I was able to hit it down the line and put us up.”
Called on to bat for reliever Carlos Villanueva (3-5), Wood hit a sharp groundball off Jacob Turner (2-5) down the left field line, scoring Junior Lake for the go-ahead run.
Wood was pressed into action as available players dwindled. Cubs manager Rick Renteria used lefties Chris Coghlan and Nate Schierholtz in the seventh and 10th innings, respectively.
By the 13th, the Cubs had gone through seven pitchers and all batters but righty Eli Whiteside.
“(Whiteside) was my last guy, then if we get beyond and I use Russ (James Russell), I need somebody to pitch and I still need another body,” Renteria said. “The way (Wood) handles the bat, he gave us, he gave himself a chance in that at bat.”
Wood, who is hitting .250 this season, was 0 for 4 as a pinch hitter entering the game.
“I always hit growing up, out of high school,” Wood said. “I didn’t have 3, 4 year of not hitting. So I kind of just stuck with it and it’s part of my job as a starting pitcher in the National League, so I practice at it and try to do the best I can.”
Miami’s Tom Koehler was near perfect to start, retiring 14 of the first 15 batters. Only Mike Olt registered a hit against the Marlins’ starter during that stretch.
But the Cubs overcame a 3-0 deficit in the sixth inning, highlighted by Starlin Castro’s three-run homer.
After the Marlins were unable to turn a double play on pitcher Justin Hammel’s bunt, Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano followed with singles. Hammel ended Koehler’s shutout when he scored on a groundout by Anthony Rizzo.
Castro then gave Chicago a 4-3 lead with a three-run homer, his 10th of the season.
“Other than the curveball that I hung there, they did a good job of hitting some quality pitches,” Koehler said. “Unfortunately, in this game the results don’t always mirror the quality of the outing. I do feel like I let the guys down when we had that three-run lead going into the inning.”
Koehler, who gave up five hits and struck out five, failed to get beyond the sixth inning for the third time in his last four starts.
“Tom is having a tough time getting through that sixth inning,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He was breezing. He’s got to fight through that to win games at this level.”
The Marlins responded in the bottom half of the sixth. Marcell Ozuna led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adeiny Hechavarria.
Hammel allowed four runs and eight hits. He struck out nine in six innings.
Giancarlo Stanton put the Marlins on the board in the first inning with his 19th home run, a two-run line drive that just cleared the right field wall.
“I could not get the slider down and that was the ball that Stanton hit,” Hammel said. “I’ve never seen a home run like that. I think it took two seconds to get out of the ballpark. I thought it was going to be a foul ball and hitting the base of the wall or something. That’s impressive.”
Miami padded its lead in the third when Stanton scored on Casey McGehee’s single to right.
The Marlins failed to convert with the bases loaded in the seventh. Garrett Jones grounded into a forceout at home and Ozuna struck out looking.
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/J Pat Carter