MIAMI – The Cubs keep talking about the big hit, and they got it from an All-Star pitcher late Monday night at Marlins Park.
But no one was really surprised when Travis Wood delivered in the clutch, coming off the bench in the 13th inning to lift his team to a 5-4 victory. Wood smashed a two-out double past diving Miami third baseman Casey McGehee, scoring Junior Lake from first and setting off a celebration in the visiting dugout.
“Everybody’s running out of pitchers,” Wood said. “Everybody’s running out of players. Both teams are playing hard and to pull it out is outstanding.”
The Cubs (29-39) needed seven relievers after Jason Hammel, who gave up four runs in six innings. James Russell saved a game that lasted four hours and 39 minutes, capping a shutdown performance from what’s become a reliable bullpen.
The day before, Wood had taken a no-hitter into the sixth at Citizens Bank Park, throwing eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s now hitting .276, with two homers and nine RBI in 29 at-bats, leading to wisecracks about whether he should be hitting in the middle of this lineup.
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Starlin Castro had tied the game in the sixth inning with his 10th homer, a three-run bomb that landed beyond the left-field wall in the Clevelander bar/nightclub. As Lake sprinted home in the 13th, Castro and Luis Valbuena jumped up and down in front of the dugout.
“Oh yeah, we were ready to bring it home,” Castro said. “We needed that.”