While attempting to bounce back from his worst outing of the season, Travis Wood will try to help the Chicago Cubs to their longest win streak in 2013 and claim the Crosstown Cup for the first time.
Wood will also seek to outduel Jake Peavy again in his second career start against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.Before his most recent outing, Wood (4-3, 2.73 ERA) was the first Cubs pitcher to open the season with nine consecutive quality starts since Hall of Famer Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown in 1908. The left-hander couldn't keep that streak going against his former team in a 5-2 loss at Cincinnati Saturday.Wood gave up one run in his first five innings before allowing four in the sixth."That's baseball," Wood told the team's website. "I kind of lost it, throwing it up in the zone (in the sixth). I wasn't executing."With Wood's help, the Cubs (21-30) will try to win four straight for the first time since Sept. 7-10. Dioner Navarro hit three home runs Wednesday in a 9-3 victory, becoming the team's first catcher to pull off that feat since George Mitterwald in 1974."It was one of those days," said Navarro, who drove in a career-high six runs. "I feel good about it, but the most important thing is we got the W."The Cubs have outscored the White Sox 16-3 in the first two of four meetings between the teams. Tuesday's rainout has yet to be rescheduled, but the Cubs can wrap up the Crosstown Cup for the first time in the four years of its existence with a win Thursday."These are the series that kind of get you going back in the right direction because the adrenaline is at another level," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.Wood will try to lead the way while earning his second win in as many matchups with the White Sox. In his only other meeting, he beat Peavy in a 2-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on June 19.Peavy pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and one walk, while Wood allowed one run over six innings.Peavy (6-2, 2.97) heads into this start after nearly recording a shutout over Miami on Saturday. He gave up a solo homer in the ninth in a 2-1 victory, his fifth in seven outings."You hope to win those if you go nine and give up one," Peavy told the team's website.Peavy will next try to help the White Sox (24-26) avoid their first three-game skid since April 27-30. He's 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA in his last six starts against the Cubs and 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his past two at Wrigley Field.Before facing their crosstown rivals, the White Sox had won nine of 12 and three in a row. The Cubs, meanwhile, had dropped six of seven.The White Sox's three straight road losses are their most since starting 0-5 there this season.