CHICAGO – Sure looked like Kerry Wood would get the day off in his return to Wrigley Field. His new team, the Cleveland Indians, were up on his old one by seven runs.
But for the second straight day the Cubs put together a four-run rally in the eighth inning that cut the lead to one.
Suddenly, Wood was in the game, back on the mound, pitching against the Cubs. He wound up getting an ovation — then blowing the save.
Friend and former teammate Derrek Lee hit a game-tying homer in the ninth off him before Ryan Theriot’s 10th-inning, bad-hop single sent Chicago to a dramatic 8-7 victory.
“It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, as far as adrenaline and being able to control that,” said Wood, who spent a decade with the Cubs and saved 34 games for them a year ago before signing with the Indians as a free agent.
What he couldn’t control was the hot bat of Lee, whose ninth inning homer was his second of the game and third in two games.
“I felt like he probably had an idea I was going to try and come in. I think he knew what I was trying to do,” Wood said after his third blown save in 11 chances.
“It was fun playing with Woody for so long and then playing against him,” Lee said. “He is throwing 96, he made a good pitch. He jammed me, it got up in the wind and got out of here.”
Wood had even visited the Cubs’ clubhouse before the game to say hello to some old friends.
“I heard he was in the weight room. I ran in there to see him and I missed him, so hopefully I get a chance to see him tomorrow,” Lee said matter-of-factly. “He might be a little mad at me.”
Alfonso Soriano, who hit a game-winning single in the ninth Thursday to beat the Chicago White Sox, drew a two-out walk in the 10th from Luis Vizcaino (1-3) and stole second. Theriot followed with a grounder that took a crazy bounce past first baseman Victor Martinez.
“It worked out, the baseball gods were smiling on me,” said Theriot after the Cubs’ third win of the week in their final at-bat.
The Indians loaded the bases off Kevin Gregg (2-1) in the top of 10th before Kosuke Fukudome made a nice catch of pinch-hitter Ryan Garko’s liner to center field.