Wood steps in for Harang on short rest to help Reds beat Mets

NEW YORK — Travis Wood of Bryant was scheduled to start for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday against the New York Mets. But when Monday's starter, veteran right-hander Aaron Harang felt a twinge in his back before the game at Citi Field, Wood was called on as the emergency starter on just three days rest.

And, as it turned out, the lefty came within an out of picking up his first Major League victory in the Reds' 8-6 win.[more]

Wood worked 4 2/3 innings, throwing 98 pitches. In the top of the fifth, he had contributed an RBI triple to the Reds' six-run outburst which had them up 7-1. In the bottom of the inning, Angel Pagan led off for the Mets with a solo homer. An out later, David Wright hit a triple and when Ike Davis' dribbler between the third-base bag and the mound was bobbled by Wood, Wright scored, Davis reached on what was called an error on the pitcher, and Wood was visited the mound. 

When play resumed, Jason Bay flew out to center but a walk to Jeff Francoeur brought another visit and manager Dusty Baker made a change, giving Wood a pat on the back. The Bryant product slapped his hand with his glove in frustration as he left the mound. Jordan Smith came on to relieve and New York went on to cut the lead to 7-6. Wood was charged for five runs, three earned, on six hits. He walked just two and struck out five.

Plus, he no doubt earned the appreciation of his manager and teammates for stepping in for Harang on short rest.

The Mets scored a run on three straight singles by Wright, Davis and Bay with two down in the first to tie the game 1-1. Wood and New York's Mike Pelfrey, who came into the game with a 10-2 record, dueled over the next three innings. Wood struck out the side around a hit batsman in the second then fanned Ruben Tejada to start the third. Wright popped out, Davis walked and Bay grounded out to end the inning.

In the fourth, Francoeur popped out trying to bunt and Rod Barajas struck out. A single to center by Alex Cora was misplayed, allowing him to take second. Wood then balked him to third but got Pelfrey to bounce out to second to keep it 1-1.

Wood's triple in the top of the fifth came on the heels of a two-run double by his catcher Corky Miller and proved to be Pelfrey's last pitch of the game.

In keeping with the standard five-man rotation, Wood should start again on full rest Saturday in Philadelphia. 

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