Wood wins 2nd in row
Chicago Kerry Wood is making progress, even without a 100 mph fastball. It's just taking longer than he'd like.
Wood put together consecutive victories for the first time this season, pitching Chicago to a 4-2 victory Friday over Milwaukee.
"He's going to get better," Cubs manager Don Baylor said of Wood, who is coming back from elbow surgery. "But we have to wait until next year. We're all anxious that he's going to go out and strike out 15. It might happen."
Mark Grace had a go-ahead RBI single in the third inning to spark the Cubs, who won for the eighth time in 11 games.
Wood (5-6), who beat Kansas City on July 16 in his last start, allowed two runs on four hits and five walks over six innings, striking out four. The right-hander has worked at least six innings in 10 of his 14 starts.
"I really didn't feel like I was in sync," said Wood, who relied on his fastball and changeup but struggled with his breaking pitches.
"I've got to get into a rhythm. The last two starts, I haven't felt real comfortable as far as location and everything like that," Wood said.
Rick Aguilera pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 27 chances.
Pirates 9, Phillies 2
Pittsburgh Rookie Jimmy Anderson allowed only three hits in eight innings and Mike Benjamin drove in three runs as Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia. Anderson (3-5) walked three, hit a batter and struck out five.
Braves 6, Mets 3
Atlanta Brian Jordan drove in three runs and John Burkett pitched 41/3 innings of scoreless relief, leading Atlanta over New York. The Braves extended their NL East lead over New York to six games.
Expos 7, Marlins 3
Miami Geoff Blum homered and had a career-high four RBIs, and Mike Thurman, fresh off the disabled list, pitched six strong innings as Montreal defeated Florida.
Cardinals 12, Astros 1
Houston Edgar Renteria drove in four runs and rookie Rick Ankiel struck out 11 Astros in seven innings as St. Louis stopped a three-game losing streak. Ankiel (7-5) allowed only three hits and tied his career strikeout high to win for the first time in five outings.
Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4
Cincinnati Luis Gonzalez's eighth-inning double drove in the go-ahead run as Arizona beat Cincinnati.
Padres 5, Rockies 1
Denver Adam Eaton won for the first time in nine starts and went 3-for-3 and Al Martin drove in two runs as San Diego clipped Colorado. Eaton (2-1) fanned three, walked four and allowed a run and seven hits in 71/3 innings.
Dodgers 6, Giants 5
Los Angeles Eric Karros hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning, lifting Los Angeles over San Francisco. Matt Herges (7-0) won despite yielding Barry Bonds' 32nd home run.