PHOENIX (AP) — Travis Wood was a National League All-Star in 2013. He’s learning that it takes some time and faith to get back to the way he was pitching a year ago.
Wood was roughed up for seven runs – five earned – on eight hits in 5 1-3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. He lost his third straight start.
Wood (7-9) said he isn’t missing his spots by much, but admitted that opposing hitters – especially right-handers, who are batting close to .300 against him this season – have made adjustments.
“So far it has been a learning year. Trying to figure it out and basically getting back to what I do,” Wood said. “We are going to get there. I promise you that. It will be a struggle until then, but we got to keep rolling.”
Miguel Montero hit a go-ahead, three-run double in the fifth inning and Paul Goldschmidt added a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks. Montero’s hit came off Wood, who has fared well against left-handed hitters this season.
“I threw a pitch that kind of sat there and he made me pay for it,” Wood said of Montero’s double. “That is what he is able to do.”
Goldschmidt went 3 for 3 with three runs batted in. He also scored three runs and walked twice, raising his batting average to .314.
“When you’re scoring multiple runs on at-bats, that’s ideal,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
The Cubs have lost four in a row and 10 of 12.
Wade Miley (6-6) went seven innings, allowing three runs and seven hits, striking out seven with one walk. He is 3-0 in his last four starts.
The Cubs got a run to start the game on three straight singles with one out, the third hit coming from All-Star Starlin Castro to drive in Justin Ruggiano.
If not for a leaping catch at the wall in dead center field by the Diamondbacks’ Ender Inciarte, the Cubs might have added on more runs. Welington Castillo’s long fly ball looked like it would bounce off the wall for extra bases, but Inciarte tracked it down for the second out of the inning and Arizona starter Wade Miley got out of the inning without further damage.
“You go back and look at games, how they’re won and lost, that’s one of those plays you look at,” Gibson said. “That’s one of the things he can do and he did a heck of a job for us.”
Goldschmidt scored on Montero’s single with help from an error on the play, hustling around third after Cubs center fielder Arismendy Alcantara bobbled the ball. His throw beat Goldschmidt to home plate, but Goldschmidt avoided the lunging tag from Castillo and scored to tie it at 1.
Alcantara, 22, was making just his second start in center field after only seven big league games.
The Cubs plated a pair of fourth-inning runs. Castillo hit a line-drive home run into the seats in left field to lead off the inning, and Junior Lake legged out a triple into the left-field corner and scored on a sacrifice fly from Mike Olt.
The Diamondbacks made it 7-3 in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI double from Goldschmidt and a dribbler up the third-base line from Mark Trumbo that went for an infield hit.
Arizona improved to 10-3 in the last 13 games against Chicago.
“We had a play here and there that made the game open up, but we just weren’t able to grind it out and put runs across,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
NOTES: The Cubs played their 54th road game of the season, the most of any team in the majors. The New York Yankees came in tied with Chicago at 53 road games but were at home to face Cincinnati on Saturday. … Diamondbacks OF Cody Ross left the game with calf tightness after the second inning, but Gibson said it doesn’t appear serious and that it might have been cramping . SS Chris Owings is shut down for three days, Gibson said, due to left shoulder soreness. Owings has been on the disabled list since June 29. … OF Jordan Pacheco (right shoulder soreness) continues his rehab assignment with the rookie league Diamondbacks on Sunday. He’s been hitting and playing games at playing at second base and designated hitter.