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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Travis Wood Stumps Former Mates

Travis Wood has pitched very well against his former teammates but had nothing to show for it until tonight.

Backed by home runs by Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena, Wood shut down the team that drafted and developed him in 2-0 win.

The Reds got six hits off Wood, including three doubles, but he scattered the hits and kept the Reds off the scoreboard.

Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg each pitched a scoreless inning to seal the Cubs' fourth win in 17 tries against the Reds.

Arroyo's record dropped  13-11 but wasn't frustrated.

"We had a lot of momentum coming off the last two series. It would have been nice to keep it going.  Whether it was a no-decision or a loss, when you don't feel like you pitched that bad and the other guy pitches a little better, there is not a lot of frustration there.

Arroyo pitched seven innings, giving up seven hits and no walks.  The two solo home runs were all the Cubs could muster.  Thanks to Wood, it was enough for the Cubs.

"Woody can pitch," Dusty Baker said.  "It is hard to take the strikeouts looking but Woody made quality pitches all night.  He didn't throw as hard as he usually does but he located everything."

Zack Cozart extended his hitting streak to 14 games with two doubles - one off his friend, Wood, who was his teammate in the Reds' farm system.

The Reds left nine runners on base.

In the first inning, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto singled with one out.  Jay Bruce struck out and Todd Frazier grounded out.

Shin-Soo Choo set a Reds' record when he was hit with a pitch in the third inning.  It is the 25th time he has been hit with a pitch, breaking Jason LaRue's record from 2004.  Votto singled one out later but Bruce flied out to end the inning.

Cozart doubled with two outs in the fourth. He was stranded when Ryan Hanigan grounded out.

Choo doubled with one out in the fifth but Votto and Bruce both took called third strikes.

"You don't have a chance when you take the third strike," Baker said.  "Wood made pitches when he had to."

Ryan Ludwick doubled with two out in the sixth.  Cozart struck out looking to leave Ludwick on second.

Wood left after a 1-2-3 seventh.

Phillips walked, leading off the eighth against Strop.  Phillips went to second as Bruce struck out swinging at a pitch that eluded catcher Dioner Navarro.  Frazier lined out to the firstbaseman to end the inning.

Cozart doubled again off Gregg with one out in the ninth but Hanigan lined out to left and pinch hitter, Xavier Paul, bounced out to the secondbaseman.  Gregg recorded his 33rd save.

Wood was 0-for-4 against the Reds since being traded to the Cubs for Sean Marshall.  This season he lost three games against the Reds, allowing just two runs in three of them. One resulted in a no-decision.  The other two were losses.  The Reds scored five runs in 5-2/3 innings off Wood in his other start against Cincinnati.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever beaten them," Wood said. "That’s really nice. I’ve pitched some good games against them, and they’ve gotten me a few times, too, so this one was nice.”

Cubs manager Dale Sveum emphasized how Wood has pitched much better than his 9-11 record indicates.

“He’s pitched his butt off all year. He’s proven it. He’s on a pretty impressive run,” Sveum said. “The luck he’s had this year, it’s just gratifying to see him get a win at any time. He’s had some tough luck this year.”

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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