Moises Alou entered unfamiliar territory Friday when he stepped into the Wrigley Field postgame interview room.
"First time this year I've been in here," he said, "for reasons you folks know well."
Alou, a disappointment in his first four months as a Cub, was there because he went to bat in the 12th inning looking for a fastball after Sammy Sosa had walked.
"I got the fastball to hit on the first pitch," Alou said. "I didn't try to do too much with it. Just a nice compact, aggressive swing."
Alou lined the fastball from Colorado reliever Victor Santos into the left-field bleachers for the two-run home run that beat the Rockies 6-4. Alou scored behind Sosa, who greeted him at the plate, clasped him in a bearhug and bounced him up and down.
Hearty members in the crowd of 38,493 stuck around to see the victory that deserved to go to Kerry Wood in regulation.
Wood pitched seven innings. He limited the Rockies to four hits and two runs, walked only two and struck out a season-high 13. The score was tied 2-2 when Wood departed after throwing 119 pitches.
Pinch-hitter Angel Echevarria and Sosa homered in the home half of the seventh to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Wood was in line to improve his record to 10-5.
But Wood had to settle for a no-decision because Cubs closer Antonio Alfonseca closed the door on his foot in the ninth. Jack Cust, just recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, whacked Alfonseca with his first hit of the year, a two-run homer that tied the game 4-4.
"Kerry Wood was great today," Alou said. "He looked like the pitcher I hated to face when I was with Houston."
In five starts since the All-Star break, Wood has fanned 38 in 34 innings and has walked only seven. He has allowed 104 hits in 141 innings for the season.
"I had 2 1/2 pitches working," Wood said. "I had a good fastball. I located my slider for strikes or got them to chase it off then plate. My curve was working too.
"I might have been able to pitch the eighth or even the ninth if I hadn't thrown so many pitches (27) in the first inning," Wood said.
Wood and manager Bruce Kimm avoided criticizing Alfonseca for his blown save.
"That's part of the game," Wood said.
"Nobody feels worse than Alfonseca," Kimm said. "He tries so hard. If it's possible to try too hard, he does. He'll still be our closer. He's strong and throws hard. This will help us."
Catcher Joe Girardi pointed out that although Alfonseca yielded two runs in his only inning of work, relievers Jose Cruz, Jeff Fassero and winner Joe Borowski (3-4) combined to pitch five scoreless innings.
Part of the reason for their second-straight victory was that the Cubs held Colorado's Larry Walker, hitting .362, and Todd Helton, hitting .326, to one hit in 12 at-bats.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times