Facing a winless pitcher instead of Matt Garza worked out for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the middle game of their weekend series with the Chicago Cubs.
In the finale, they'll see a pitcher making his 2012 big-league debut instead of Garza.
The Cubs are scratching Garza again and will give Travis Wood the ball Sunday at home against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles (18-9) has never faced Garza, who has a 1.70 ERA in his last 13 home starts. He was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, but a virus forced Chicago (10-17) to use Chris Volstad instead.
The Dodgers scored five times in the first five innings off Volstad, who fell to 0-9 in his last 17 outings. Winning pitcher Chris Capuano actually had the big blow with a two-run double in the second inning of a 5-1 victory.
"We just kind of chipped away," manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't do a ton, but we did enough to get comfortable."
Garza was scratched again for Sunday's outing with Wood (no record) being recalled from Triple-A Iowa to make his Cubs debut. Wood, who went 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA at Iowa this year, pitched the previous two seasons for Cincinnati and went 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA last year in 22 games - 18 starts.
"We win (Sunday), we take the series," Wood told the Cubs' official website. "So hopefully I can go out there and give them a strong outing, and hopefully we win it."
The left-hander went 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA in two 2011 starts against Los Angeles. Matt Kemp went 2 for 4 with a homer against him and Andre Ethier 3 for 4 with two doubles.
Kemp and Ethier have combined for 54 RBIs for the most among a pair of teammates, totaling three while making minimal contributions in this series. Kemp is 1 for 7 and Ethier 1 for 5.
This series features the majors' OPS leaders in Kemp (1.299) and the Cubs' surprising Bryan LaHair (1.227). LaHair has reached base in 23 straight games - the longest streak by a Cub since Derrek Lee's 30-game run May 16-June 23, 2009 - although his 10-game hit streak ended Saturday as he was 0 for 2 with two walks.
The Cubs first baseman will get his first look at the Dodgers' worst starter, Aaron Harang (1-2, 5.72 ERA).
Harang is 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA in 25 starts against the Cubs, including 6-3 with a 4.86 ERA in 13 at Wrigley Field. He gave up a season-high five runs over 6 2-3 innings in Monday's 6-2 defeat at Colorado.
Alfonso Soriano is the Cub who has faced Harang the most, going 11 for 40 with a solo homer and 10 strikeouts.
Soriano wasn't happy Saturday after going 0 for 4 and striking out with the bases loaded in the first inning as his eight-game hitting streak ended.
"I thought this was going to be a big day for us," Soriano said. "The umpire made some bad calls today when I was hitting, but that's part of the game. There's nothing I could say."
- Matt Garza
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Chicago Cubs
- Los Angeles
- Matt Kemp
- Travis Wood
- Andre Ethier