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Monday, June 25, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 6, Mets 1

By Doug Padilla



CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs won a series opener again, the fifth time in the last seven tries they have done so, after a 6-1 victory Monday over the New York Mets.

How it happened: Travis Wood was solid yet again giving up no runs on five hits over seven innings. Wood has given up three runs or fewer in seven of his eight Cubs starts. Joe Mather got the offense started with a two-run home run in the fourth inning and the Cubs took advantage of three Mets errors in the seventh inning to score four more runs. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak, three of which came at the hands of Arizona over the weekend.

What it means: Well, that completes life without Anthony Rizzo as the Cubs went 25-48 through nearly three months into the season. Rizzo will join the roster Tuesday and head straight to the starting lineup. The club wants the expectations placed on the slugger to be minimal, which is understandable since he has only 49 games of big-league experience. The sooner he can settle into a comfort zone, though, the sooner the club’s shaky offense becomes more interesting to watch.

Outside the box: The month of June has been very kind to Wood and he is now getting the victories to show for his work. Wood won his second consecutive start with Monday’s seven shutout innings after beating the White Sox last week by giving up one run over six innings. He has a mediocre 2-2 record in the month with one no-decision, despite posting an impressive 2.27 ERA in five starts.

Off beat: If there was only a way for the Cubs to make the three-base error a permanent part of the offense. They got two of them in the seventh inning to score a run off the Mets. First Adrian Cardenas hit a pop up in front of the plate that Mets third baseman David Wright failed to catch, with the ball hitting off his glove and bouncing toward the backstop. Cardenas scored when Darwin Barney's popup to right field bounced off the body of a sliding Lucas Duda and rolled toward the Mets dugout. Barney ended up at third base and scored on a pedestrian one-base error by second baseman Ronny Cedeno after a grounder hit by Starlin Castro.

Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Randy Wells (1-2, 4.91 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of a three-game series. The Mets will counter with right-hander Dillon Gee (5-5, 4.27) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.