Woods, Cubs top Reds 2-1
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Chris Denorfia hit a two-run homer for Chicago’s only hit and Travis Wood pitched three-hit ball for five innings as the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Sunday.
Wood, making a strong bid for the final spot in the Cubs’ rotation, walked one and struck out four. Reliever Brian Schlitter pitched two scoreless innings.
“It was a good day for the whole team,” Wood said. “We put across a couple runs, and I was able to keep the ball down and get some early strikes, some quick outs.”
Johnny Cueto allowed just one hit in four innings for the Reds — Denorfia’s homer. Cueto also walked three and struck out one.
The Reds scored one in the ninth but the Cubs preserved the win on a perfect throw from right fielder Rubi Silva, who nabbed Ivan DeJesus Jr. trying to score the tying run from second on a single.
Reds: Cueto was OK but not super crisp, catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “That’s why we have spring training.”
Cubs: Wood is competing with another past starter, Edwin Jackson, among others, for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. “Today is over, and it was good one for me,” he said. “But tomorrow is back to work and get ready for the next one.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was impressed to learn that outfielder Dexter Fowler once had been recruited to play basketball at Harvard. This set him off on a rant denouncing specialization in youth sports.
“I love cross-pollination when it comes to athletes, guys who did not just play baseball. They’ve been around a different set of coaches and styles and ways to get in shape. I love that.
“That’s why I hate this specialization of kids when they’re playing on these travel squads when they are 12, 13, 14 years old, only dedicated to one thing, traveling all the time, paying an exorbitant amount of money to play baseball with hopes they’re going to become a professional baseball player,” Maddon added. “I think that’s crazy. Thank you.”
Reds: Jason Bourgeois, a candidate for a backup outfielder spot, will be out four to six weeks with a fracture in his shoulder. … Billy Hamilton and Mesoraco returned to the lineup Sunday. Hamilton had been bothered by a sore shoulder and hadn’t played since March 6. Mesoraco hadn’t played since March 7, when he sustained a mild concussion on a foul tip to his catcher’s mask.
Cubs: Slugger Kris Bryant didn’t play Sunday; he is sitting out a day or two with what the Cubs are calling fatigue in his throwing shoulder. He leads MLB with six homers, including two Saturday in Las Vegas.
Reds: Tony Cingrani will start Monday, at home vs. San Francisco.