Sick Garza is out; Travis Wood will start

Travis Wood will make his first start as a Cub on Sunday, filling in for a sick Matt Garza. Christopher Hanewinckel/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- A left-handed starter worked well for the Chicago Cubs against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, so they will give it another try in Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field.

Lefty Travis Wood will get the start in place of Matt Garza, who is said to be suffering from a flu-like virus that has swept through the Cubs clubhouse in recent days. Also affected was recently demoted pitcher Scott Maine, as well as utility man Jeff Baker, who hasn’t been available in the series.

The Cubs lost to the Dodgers 5-1 on Saturday, but beat them 5-4 in Friday's series opener behind left-hander Paul Maholm.

“It’s unfortunate that [Garza] isn’t feeling well and there is something that is going on around here, but hopefully I can step in and give them a strong outing and give them a chance to win,” Wood said.

Garza was originally supposed to start Saturday's game against the Dodgers, but was pushed back a day with Chris Volstad taking his spot.

Wood slogged his way through a terrible spring, becoming the first to take himself out of consideration for the major league rotation. Acquired in the offseason deal that sent reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds, Wood was sent to Triple-A Iowa to start the year.

Wood had just one minor-league victory in five starts with a 5.08 ERA, but did have 30 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings with eight walks.

“I felt good [at Iowa],” Wood said. “The ball was coming out well, pitches were working well so we’ll see.”

Manager Dale Sveum said he will give Garza some time to recover and has aimed the right-hander for the opener of a three-game series at Milwaukee on Friday.

The Cubs will wait until Sunday morning to announce a roster move that would clear a spot for Wood.