HOUSTON -- After seeing his third pitch of the night fly high for a home run, Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood figured his night couldn’t get any worse for him.
He was right.
It was the Cubs’ flimsy offense that again let the team down Tuesday night, wasting a solid start by Wood in a 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros to extend their losing streak to a season-high eight games.
"I don’t know what we have to do to win one game and hit more, because right now we are struggling," said Alfonso Soriano, who provided the Cubs’ only run of the night with his fourth homer of the season.
Soriano’s homer, which tied the score in the fourth inning, came off Astros left-hander J.A. Happ, ending a scoring drought against starting pitchers that spanned three games.
Chicago has now gone 59 frames without holding a lead at the end of an inning.
The Cubs have not won a game since May 14 at St. Louis. The slide is their longest since losing eight in a row last May 30-June 7.
Happ (4-3) pitched six solid innings for the Astros, limiting Chicago to Soriano’s home run and four other hits while striking six in the process.
He benefited from Jose Altuve’s leadoff home run and J.D. Martinez’s go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning for his second win in as many starts.
Brett Myers pitched a 1-2-3 ninth—striking out two—for his 11th save in 12 chances for the Astros.
Wood, who was making his second start with the Cubs after being called up earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Iowa, had no such help from his offense, wasting what Cubs manager Dale Sveum deemed an impressive outing after a rather rough start.
"When your first batter of the ball game hits a home run, I guess everything’s out of the way," Wood said. "You already gave up a hit; you already gave up a run. Not much left to do but to bear down and get after it."
That he did.
Altuve’s homer was one of two hits Wood (0-1) allowed in the first inning, after which he retired 17 of the 19 batters he faced.