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Wood, Valbuena lead Cubs to victory over Padres

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The Canadian Press
5/25/2014 1:22:09 AM
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SAN DIEGO -- Other than one bad pitch, Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood had a pretty good night.

Wood came within five outs of pitching his first career shutout before allowing Carlos Quentin's pinch-hit, two-run home run, and Chicago held on to beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 Saturday night.

Wood (5-4) hit an RBI single and Luis Valbuena homered for the Cubs, who bounced back from an 11-1 loss Friday night.

Wood allowed two runs and three hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out three and walked two.

"I felt good all game," Wood said. "I made a bad pitch there to Quentin. I wanted a cutter in, but didn't quite get it all the way in there and he got through it. But other than that everything was working pretty good all game."

Quentin, who missed the previous four games with a groin injury, hit an 86 mph pitch an estimated 405 feet off the left-field facade with one out in the eighth to chase Wood. Quentin has five career pinch homers and two in one week. Yasmani Grandal was aboard on a one-out walk.

Other than that, "my fastball was locating down and I got some quick outs there," Wood said. "All in all, no complaints other than one pitch, but that's going to happen."

Quentin also hit a two-run, pinch homer last Saturday at Colorado. He hurt his groin on Sunday and hadn't played until Saturday night's appearance.

"That's a hard thing to do to pinch-hit -- one of the hardest roles in our game to come off the bench without playing and go step in the batter's box against pitcher and hit a home run," manager Bud Black said. "That is hard to do and he has done it twice in a week.

"When Carlos does that, that is what we expect," Black said. "He is a dynamic offensive player and our team changes."

Problem is, the Padres haven't seen much of Quentin this year. He missed the first 39 games after starting the season on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee.

"He makes us better," Black said. "He's arguably our best offensive player each and every night he is in the game."

Valbuena extended his hitting streak to eight games when he drove an 88 mph fastball from Billy Buckner into the right field seats with one out in the sixth. It was his third. Nate Schierholtz doubled to right with two outs. The Padres intentionally walked Darwin Barney to get to Wood, who singled up the middle to drive in Schierholtz.

Valbuena also scored in the fourth, reaching on a walk, advancing on Welington Castillo's single and coming in on Schierholtz's base hit.

Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

Buckner (0-1) started in place of Andrew Cashner, who is on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Buckner's contract was purchased earlier Saturday from Triple-A El Paso. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked three.

NOTES: In a pregame ceremony, the Padres honoured first responders involved in fighting last week's wildfires. The players and coaches formed two lines in the outfield and greeted the first responders as they walked in from the warning track. ... Cashner played long toss for the first time since going on the disabled list, retroactive to May 15. Cashner will throw again Sunday. . RHP Tim Stauffer pitched well enough in Friday's win over the Cubs to earn another start. It will come on Wednesday at Arizona. . Newly acquired LHP Troy Patton, acquired from Baltimore in Saturday's trade for C Nick Hundley, will complement LHP Alex Torres in the bullpen. He should arrive in San Diego on Sunday. . Cubs OF Justin Ruggiano could rejoin the team on the road trip; he's been on the DL since April 24 with a strained hamstring. Ruggiano played consecutive games in Triple-A Iowa on Thursday and Friday. . Padres RHP Ian Kennedy (2-6, 3.79) faces Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.91) in Sunday's series finale.

Travis Wood (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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