Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/17/12
Last week against the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds couldn't get much going against former teammate Travis Wood, who admitted having some extra motivation in facing his old club for the first time. Cincinnati could be in for more of the same when Wood returns to Great American Ball Park in the opener of a four-game series Friday night. The NL Central-leading Reds (71-47) took three of four in Chicago last week, with Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier leading the way. Ludwick finished 6 for 16 with two homers, two doubles, six RBIs and five runs, while Frazier hit .600 with a homer, two doubles and six RBIs. Both came up big in Saturday's 4-2 win, a game featuring the same pitching matchup as Friday - Wood (4-8, 4.52 ERA) against Bronson Arroyo (8-7, 3.95). Wood, who spent his first two seasons with the Reds before being traded in December, held Cincinnati to five hits and matched a career high with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The only run he allowed came on Frazier's RBI single in the fourth. "That was as impressive an outing as he's had all year," manager Dale Sveum told the Cubs' official website. Wood departed with a 2-1 lead, but the Reds scored three times in the eighth as Ludwick delivered the go-ahead two-run double. Cincinnati's rally made a winner out of Arroyo, who allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings. Arroyo improved to 5-3 with a 2.31 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Cubs (46-70), but all of those defeats came in his last three matchups in Cincinnati. The right-hander has a 4.19 ERA in those games, surrendering two homers each time, and he has a 6.60 ERA in three home starts since the All-Star break. Despite Arroyo's home struggles, the rest of the team is excelling there. The Reds are a major league-best 38-21 at home and have won 12 of the last 16 meetings with the Cubs in Cincinnati. Ludwick, who has a season-high eight-game hitting streak, is batting .357 with four homers, three doubles and 15 RBIs in his last 11 home games. He hit his 23rd homer Thursday against New York as the Reds lost 8-4 to snap a five-game winning streak. Cincinnati, which had its lead over Pittsburgh cut to six games, committed three errors leading to three unearned runs. "Over a 162-game season, you're going to have games like this, but the way we'd been playing lately, it's odd," shortstop Zack Cozart said. The Cubs arrive in Cincinnati after beating Houston 7-2 on Wednesday to take two of three from the majors' worst team. David DeJesus had a pair of homers and finished with four hits, while Starlin Castro had three hits - including his 12th homer - for the Cubs, who had lost 11 of 12 prior to facing the Astros. Castro is 3 for 17 against Arroyo, while DeJesus is 3 for 15. Although Wood is 0-5 since the All-Star break, he is showing improvement. The left-hander has a 2.50 ERA with one homer allowed in three starts this month after posting a 12.64 ERA with nine home runs served up in his previous three. "As a whole, I've progressed," Wood said. "I've had some good games and some bad games. That's baseball."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yordano Ventura killed in car accident

Falcons benefit from questionable call after turnover

Report: Tomlin, Steelers fined Antonio Brown $10,000

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Championship Sunday

Luke Walton rips Lakers after 'embarrassing' 49-point loss

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Oregon firing OC David Reaves after DUI arrest

Report: Colts hired psychologists for Pagano-Grigson relationship

Report: Kelly a candidate to replace Shanahan as Falcons OC

Baron Davis blames Russia for Westbrook All-Star snub

Reason Jabari Parker was benched revealed

Sanders, Ware think Romo would be good fit for Broncos

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker