How it happened: Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena hit solo home runs in the second and third innings, respectively, and they held up as pitcher Travis Wood and two relievers shut down the red-hot Reds. Wood lasted seven innings, giving up six hits without walking anyone. He struck out six in yet another dominant performance, which lowered his ERA to 3.05. Bronson Arroyo was good for the opposition but couldn’t match Wood pitch-for-pitch as his two mistakes were the difference in the game. Pedro Strop pitched the eighth inning and Kevin Gregg the ninth to earn his 31st save.
What it means: If there was any doubt -- and really there should not be -- about Wood’s status as the No. 1 pitcher this year, it was dispelled in one of his best games, just when his arm should or might be tiring. The Reds were coming off a sweep of the Dodgers, during which all they did was get timely hits. That was not the case on Monday against Wood, however.
Stat of the night: Wood threw 100 pitches, 70 were for strikes. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that’s the eighth best strike percentage for a Cubs pitcher this season.
Outside the box: Before the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum indicated pitcher Scott Baker would get another turn on the mound after his five-inning shutout performance on Sunday. The Cubs pushed everyone back a day to accommodate Baker’s first start, but Sveum said the Cubs hadn’t determined how or when they would fit him in again, just that they would. The Cubs’ Class-A affiliate in Daytona, Fla., took the Florida State League championship with a 4-0 win over Charlotte on Monday night. CJ Edwards, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade, gave up just one hit in five innings in the clinching game.