CHICAGO — Travis Wood got into trouble in the first inning when he walked the bases loaded before retiring Khris Davis on a grounder that kept the game scoreless.
After a simple tweak, Wood cruised the rest of the way.
The left-hander retired 19 of his final 21 batters and pitched two-hit ball for seven innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Sunday.
“It was a struggle there in the first,” Wood said. “We weren’t missing bad, but we were missing, so (there was) kind of a minor adjustment I had to make. I was kind of flying open a little bit there in the first after the first or second hitter, so we made it and were able to roll after that.”
Welington Castillo and Mike Olt homered for the Cubs, who took two of three from the NL Central leaders to win a series for the second time this season.
Wood (4-4) allowed two runs and struck out seven. All three of his walks came in the first inning.
“When he locates down into the corners, he’s really, really effective,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.
The Cubs won their first series since taking two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals from May 2 to 4.
“We had some timely hitting. Our pitching has been really good, and we’ve been able to close out the ballgames we lead,” Renteria said.
Hector Rondon earned his fifth save in five chances after allowing a leadoff double to Ryan Braun in the ninth for Milwaukee’s third hit. The Brewers, who began the day with the NL’s best record, have scored 11 runs in five games.
“He keeps the fastball away well. He throws the cutter inside to right-handers well and mixes in a curveball,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said about Wood. “He commanded the ball well, and we’re a little bit off offensively. Three hits, just not many guys on base to do things with.”