Wood showing Cubs he's relaxed

June, 19, 2012
6/19/12
11:25
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – Given another chance, Travis Wood figured out how to win one of these duels with a Cy Young Award winner.

Last week he went toe-to-toe with the Tigers’ Justin Verlander, but ended up falling to the Detroit ace. This time it was comeback-player-of-the-year candidate Jake Peavy who got Wood’s best stuff and the Cubs topped the White Sox 2-1 on Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeTravis Wood
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesTravis Wood earned his first win of the year on Tuesday night.

“It makes you feel good but just as important is giving your team a chance to win,” Wood said. “We kept it close. I was able to battle and keep them off balance and we ended up winning the ballgame.”

Wood gave up just one run on four hits over six innings and the bullpen made it stand up with three scoreless innings. Peavy went the distance and it wasn't enough. It was Wood’s first victory with the Cubs and first since Aug. 19 of last season when he was with the Cincinnati Reds.

“Getting the first one, getting that monkey off the back and hopefully we start rolling from here,” Wood said.

Despite not getting a victory until Tuesday, it actually had been rolling already. Wood has a 2.92 ERA over his last four starts. Numbers like that seemed unlikely when he was scuffling at spring training but he keeps getting better as the season has progressed.

He had a 4.57 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A Iowa and now has a 4.14 ERA in seven big-league starts.

“I know when he was in spring training, I know the pressure of getting traded,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I’ve had to do that twice. You always understand the pressures of coming to a new team especially when you were traded for one of the best relievers in baseball (Sean Marshall). It sure seems like he’s relaxed and making his pitches when he has to.”

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167