The Cubs, though, have more wins against AL teams than in any other season, and they'll try to close out interleague play with a strong showing in a two-game series that begins Tuesday night.
Los Angeles (43-45) heads into Chicago having won 10 of 12 and a season-high seven in a row on the road.
The Angels have scored 65 runs and batted .306 with runners in scoring position during that 12-game span. They've also posted a 3.00 ERA in their last 11 contests after compiling a 4.41 ERA in their first 77 this season.
Much like Albert Pujols last season, high-priced free agent signee Josh Hamilton is starting to emerge from his early season slump and is batting .372 (16 for 43) during a 12-game hit streak, tied for the longest by an Angels player this season. His .230 batting average is his highest since mid-April.
"It was only a matter of time before all this talent in the room came together and started to get something rolling," pitcher Jered Weaver told the team's website. "Obviously it's a little later than we anticipated, but it's always good to get hot and hopefully we can keep this rolling into Chicago."
Los Angeles will next face a Cubs team that's traded away starting pitcher Scott Feldman , reliever Carlos Marmol and reserve outfielder Scott Hairston in the past week. Another starter, Matt Garza , and outfielder Alfonso Soriano might follow those players out of town.
Soriano, batting .381 with six homers in his last 10 games, went 3 for 4 with a solo shot in an 8-2 win at the crosstown White Sox on Monday. The Cubs scored five runs in the eighth inning to improve to 12-6 in interleague play.
Chicago (39-48) hadn't earned more than nine wins against the AL in any other season.
Travis Wood , the Cubs' lone All-Star, will try to help pad that total while leading Chicago to a fourth straight win. Wood (5-6, 2.69 ERA) will also seek his first victory in seven starts in his first appearance against the Angels.
The left-hander is 0-3 in his last six games despite a 2.58 ERA and has received a combined nine runs of support. Wood pitched six scoreless innings Thursday in a 1-0 loss in Oakland."You have to keep battling every single day," Wood said. "I have to find a way to win these games. I need to step it up a little more."
Joe Blanton has 10 losses this season, tied for the most in the AL, but is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs. The right-hander gave up two runs over six innings in his most recent matchup Aug. 5, a 7-6 win for the Los Angeles Dodgers .
Blanton (2-10, 5.14) earned one of his rare wins in Houston on June 29 but couldn't build on that outing Thursday. He was charged with five runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-5 victory over St. Louis.
Hamilton will try to aid his struggling teammate by extending an eight-game hit streak against the Cubs. The right fielder is 11 for 30 (.367) during that run and hit a pair of doubles as Chicago and Los Angeles split two games in Anaheim from June 4-5.
The Angels won two of three in their only visit to Wrigley Field from June 18-20, 2010.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|June 30, 2013||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Nondisplaced bone fracture, right wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist|
|June 23, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb injury|
|June 21, 2013||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|June 21, 2013||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Right wrist soreness|
|June 18, 2013||Jason Vargas||15-Day DL||Blood clot, left arm|
|July 08, 2013||Welington Castillo||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|June 30, 2013||Ryan Sweeney||60-Day DL||Fractured left rib|
|June 15, 2013||David DeJesus||15-Day DL||Right shoulder sprain|
|June 14, 2013||David DeJesus||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right shoulder|
|June 12, 2013||Zach Putnam||60-Day DL||Right elbow soreness|
|June 11, 2013||Zach Putnam||Day-to-Day||Left game - Undisclosed injury|
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs ' youthful energy is rubbing off on Alfonso Soriano .
The 37-year-old outfielder hit two of the Cubs' season high five home runs and Travis Wood earned his first win in nearly six weeks in Chicago's 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
"We have so much talent in this clubhouse," Soriano said. "It's a long season and they have to believe in themselves because they have the talent."
Anthony Rizzo , Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney also homered for Chicago in the interleague game, the Cubs' fourth straight win.
"Obviously a lot of power - the Sori show continues," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Barney's home run was huge and Castro put a great swing on that ball and hammered it as well."
It's Soriano who seems rejuvenated while playing with so many youngsters. He is hitting .400 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 11 games.
"Thirty-seven years old, to do what he's doing again, and carrying a ballclub at a time when we really needed it offensively with the way our guys have been pitching, is tremendous," Sveum said. "It's like he's a rookie out there."
Wood (6-6) allowed four hits over 6 2-3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts, to earn his first victory since May 30.
Wood, who was named to the National League All-Star team, retired 14 straight Angels from the start of the second inning until allowing a two-out single in the sixth. He gave up Albert Pujols ' two-run homer in the seventh and left with two runners on and two out.
"It's a very stout lineup," Wood said of the Angels. "They're pretty solid through and through. For us to go out there and have the game that we did is pretty outstanding."
Joe Blanton (2-11) went five innings, giving up eight hits, including four homers, and six runs with three walks and three strikeouts. He leads the majors in losses.
Rizzo and Soriano hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning with two outs, the second time this season they've done it.
Castro gave Chicago a 3-0 lead with his fifth homer in the third.
Barney's fifth homer of the season came in the sixth after Dioner Navarro doubled and Nate Schierholtz was hit by a pitch. Blanton left trailing 6-0 after allowing Barney's homer.
"I really didn't have good stuff tonight," Blanton said. "It was just one of those games. I tried to battle through, but I made too many mistakes over the plate.
"The three-run (homer by Barney) hurts the worst. You can live through solos and battle around everything else. Three-run homers kill you, but honestly, all of them."
Soriano hit his 387th career home run and 15th of the year in the seventh off Michael Kohn .
"I'm not going to tell you how we're trying to get him out, but Soriano is a guy if you miss some spots and sometimes if you're hitting spots, he has the ability to hit a wide range of pitches hard like he did tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Soriano's hot streak has coincided with the hottest days weather-wise this season.
"When it's warm, my body is loose and I feel my hands," he said. "I like when it's hot."
Pujols ended Wood's bid for a shutout with his 14th homer of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh.
The win left the Cubs 40-48. They haven't been better in relation to .500 since May 31 when they were 23-30.
NOTES: Sveum said right-hander Scott Baker could be back with the team in a month after an elbow injury put him on the DL. Baker had his fourth simulated game in a rehab stint Tuesday and the next step is pitching in actual games. ... Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic will likely be available without limitation for the series against St. Louis starting Thursday. Bogusevic pulled left hamstring Thursday. ... Starting catcher Welington Castillo , who missed Monday's game with the White Sox due to dehydration, was available Tuesday but manager Dale Sveum wanted to hold him out one more day as a precaution. ... After Tuesday, Pujols has 27 home runs against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, tying with Adam Dunn for most by an active opposing player. ... Scioscia said left-hander Jason Vargas should begin throwing by the end of this week. He went on the 15-day DL June 18 with a blood clot in his left armpit. ... The Cubs hadn't hit five home runs at Wrigley since Sept. 17, 2006. ... Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (5-8, 3.54) opposes Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson (8-6, 3.49) in the final game of the series Wednesday.