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Wood staying positive in tough 3-start stretch

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood is trending the wrong way.

The lefty was charged with five runs over 4 1/3 innings Thursday, yet did not get a decision as the Cubs rallied to post a 6-5 win over the Mets and complete a sweep of the four-game series at Wrigley Field. In his last three outings, Wood has been unable to get past the fifth and has given up 15 earned runs. He's served up three homers on Thursday to the Mets, including two by Anthony Recker.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood is trending the wrong way.

The lefty was charged with five runs over 4 1/3 innings Thursday, yet did not get a decision as the Cubs rallied to post a 6-5 win over the Mets and complete a sweep of the four-game series at Wrigley Field. In his last three outings, Wood has been unable to get past the fifth and has given up 15 earned runs. He's served up three homers on Thursday to the Mets, including two by Anthony Recker.

Full Game Coverage

It's disappointing after Wood had shown signs of getting back on track April 28 against the Pirates when he gave up two runs over seven innings.

"This start and the last couple, it's been the home run that's gotten me and made me throw extra pitches," Wood said. "Right now, it's the balls and a couple pitches -- I know there's always more than a couple that you miss within a game -- but the ones they're making contact with are the ones leaving the park. We've got to emphasize getting back to throwing strikes and throwing quality strikes."

Manager Joe Maddon wasn't concerned. He felt Wood changed his approach after Recker's first home run with two outs in the second inning. Maddon felt Mets starter Jon Niese also changed after Dexter Fowler hit a solo home run leading off the fourth.

"Fowler's home run was big," Maddon said. "I know it was a solo shot, but it puts a different thought in the pitcher's mind. All of a sudden he's not as comfortable or as aggressive as he might have been otherwise. I think it happened to our guy -- Woody got less aggressive after the first homer. You can't underestimate how important that may be mentally, psychologically to the other side."

Wood was an All-Star in 2013 but went 8-13 with a 5.03 ERA last year. He didn't sound discouraged.

"It's early," Wood said. "The last couple games haven't gone the way I'd hoped or planned or worked for, but it's early and it's a long season to get everything ironed out. We're going to get there."

Said Maddon: "I love this guy. He's a great athlete and we're going to work on it."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago Cubs, Travis Wood