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Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros

Tuesday, June 02nd, 2006 8:05 PM ET

By Scott Walters
Contributing Writer

Kerry Wood was not dominant, but he got the job done. The Cubs pitcher made his third major league start since undergoing shoulder surgery on Aug. 31. Cubs started this year with high odds to win the National League in some Sportsbook, but they haven’t given signs of it.

Sports betting fans expected more from the pitcher in his first and second games. Wood gave up three homers in his return and five walks in his second. However he was sharp on Monday against Cincinnati, allowing two runs (only one earned) in five hits with one walk and four strikeouts and left the game with a 4-2 lead.

The bullpen hung on and Wood earned his first victory since July 15, 2005 with a 7-3 triumph at Wrigley Field.

"I keep feeling better and better," said Wood, who was given a fifth day of rest in between his second and third, starts. "I was able to throw all my pitches and mix them up today."

As for Houston’s, the second consecutive stellar start, Roy Oswalt settled for a no-decision Monday afternoon. Since beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on May 3 at Minute Maid Park, Oswalt is winless over five starts.

He is 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA and three no-decisions in that span. Oswalt threw six scoreless innings on Monday before leaving with a strained right hamstring.

He has given up only one run -- on a delayed ball call -- in his last two starts.

With the Astros having Thursday off Oswalt hopes to keep his turn in the rotation and make his next scheduled start with the benefit of an extra day of rest.

When and how did the injury occur? "In the third inning, I think it was, when I got to the plate," Oswalt said. "I swung and tried to come out of the box a little too quick. I felt it. It really pulled. It balled up on me. It tightened up pretty bad. Every inning after that it kind of got worse and worse."
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