Although he notched eight strikeouts in just five innings of work Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, left-hander Travis Wood saw his season end on a disappointing note – as he and the Chicago Cubs were blanked, 8-0, at Wrigley Field by the division-leading Cards.
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Wood (8-13) struggled after putting together three scoreless frames to open the contest, allowing four runs in the fourth and another three in the fifth on eight hits – raising his earned run average on the season to 5.03 – the third-worst mark amongst qualified starters. Despite his struggles, Wood pitched at least five full innings in all but three of his starts post-July 1 for the Cubs, totaling 173 2/3 innings on the year – barring him making another appearance before the season concludes.
An RBI double by Jhonny Peralta opened the scoring for St. Louis (88-69) in the fourth and a pair of RBI singles – one by Yadier Molina, the other by Jon Jay – added cushion for Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright, who notched his 20th win of the season with seven shutout frames of three-hit ball.
The tall right-hander limited the Cubs (69-88) walked just one and struck out eight, lowering his earned run average on the season to 2.38. Chicago fared no better against the Cardinals’ relief corps, and have scored two or fewer runs in two of its last four match-ups with St. Louis, heading into the final two home games of the year at the Friendly Confines.
RBI singles by Matt Holliday and Matt Adams extended the Cardinals’ lead to 7-0 in the top of the fifth and Jay contributed the eighth, and final, run in the top of the eighth on a line drive single to right against right-handed reliever Carlos Villanueva.
Chicago managed just four hits on the night, with several of its young stars striking out two times apiece. Soler joined Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara with a pair of Ks in the loss. Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with a double to lead the Cubs offense.