Alfonso Soriano stroked two of Chicago's five home runs to back another quality start from All-Star Travis Wood, as the Cubs downed the LA Angels of Anaheim, 7-2, Tuesday in the first of two straight meetings at Wrigley Field.
Soriano, who's homered eight times in his last 11 games, smacked a pair of solo shots, while Darwin Barney belted a three-run blast for the Cubs, who have won four straight games. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each added a solo homer in the victory.
"To do what he's doing again, carrying a ball club at a time when we really needed it offensively with the way our guys have been pitching, is tremendous," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Soriano's resurgence.
The home-run barrage provided more than enough run support for Wood (6-6), who snapped a six-start winless skid and recorded his first victory since May 30 by striking out five and scattering four hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball.
Wood notched his 17th quality start in his 18th start of the season, becoming the first Cub to record 17 quality starts prior to the All-Star break since Greg Maddux did so in 1988.
LA starter Joe Blanton (2-11) was tagged for six runs on eight hits and three walks over five-plus frames to absorb the loss.
"Not a good game for Joe," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his starter. "He just didn't have enough good counts that he could have enough chances to get guys. The home runs certainly factored in."
Albert Pujols' two-run shot in the seventh accounted for all the offense for the Angels, who had won their last seven road games.
Rizzo and Soriano smacked back-to-back, two-out homers in the first to get the Cubs on the board. Rizzo scorched a 2-2 sinker into the bleachers in right and Soriano followed two pitches later with a towering drive to left to double Chicago's advantage.
Castro crushed a 2-0 fastball into the center-field seats to push the margin to 3-0 in the third before Barney belted Chicago's fourth homer of the night in the sixth, a three-run blast into the first row in left to make it 6-0.
The Halos finally got to Wood in the seventh, as Mike Trout worked a leadoff walk and Pujols followed with a drive into left-center field to bring LA within 6-2.
Mark Trumbo worked a two-out walk to keep the inning alive before Alberto Callaspo ripped a double into the left-field corner to chase Wood from the contest.
Matt Guerrier entered and walked pinch-hitter Hank Conger to load the bases, but escaped unscathed by fanning pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe on three pitches.
Soriano smashed a one-out shot in the home half to account for the final margin.