KANSAS CITY -- The Cubs may have gotten themselves thrown out on the bases four times in Friday's 6-4 Interleague win over the Royals, but in a way, manager Mike Quade is OK with it.
He said he'd rather have his players make outs because of aggressive running than dumb mistakes, and offered a bit of analysis on each play.
The first player to be thrown out was Starlin Castro, who tried to steal third base on Royals lefty Bruce Chen. Castro didn't get a good jump, but it was a close play at the bag.
"We start out with Casty stealing third, we want to give him the freedom to do that," Quade said. "Chen's anywhere from 1.7, 1.65 to 1.8 [seconds to the plate]. We wanted to have the freedom to do that, but I didn't like his jump. And he still [nearly] beat it. "
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The Cubs made two outs on the bases in the fourth inning, and both came on hits that drove in runs. Catcher Geovany Soto was thrown out by Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur trying to go from first to third on Carlos Pena's single.
"You want to make good decisions. I'd rather start with us thinking aggressive and thinking that," Quade said. "If Soto's out by 10 feet, OK. If there's nobody out, uh-huh. Or if there's two outs, uh-huh. But with one out, [OK]. So, I had mixed emotions about that all night, about all of that."
Later, Alfonso Soriano was thrown out trying to score on a Lou Montanez double, with Alex Gordon relaying a throw in from left field. Royals catcher Brayan Pena blocked the plate and got the tag to end the inning.
"Yeah, I don't know if he ever got to the plate," Quade said. "I thought he was safe, but they might have had the plate blocked. So OK, fine, two out, take a shot? Absolutely. Goes against us."
In the sixth, Aramis Ramirez hit a hard ball down the left-field line that looked like it might go for extra bases. Gordon played it well though and delivered a strike to second that got to the bag well before Ramirez.
"Ramirez, bustin' out of the box, freakin' Gordon's careening off the wall, out easy," Quade said. "Would have loved to see him pull up, but again, I kind of understand it."
And of course, the Cubs were able to win on one of the few plays the Royals didn't make that night, when second baseman Chris Getz mishandled a ground ball that allowed the winning run to score.
Cubs looking to finish what they start
KANSAS CITY -- Friday's 6-4 Interleague win over the Royals was the Cubs' fifth straight series-opening victory. But Chicago hasn't won a series since taking three of four from Milwaukee from June 13-16.
"We need to find a way to win the second or third game, I guess," manager Mike Quade said. "In all those series, we've been in all those games. We happened to win the first one and we've lost some tough ones -- there have been a couple that we haven't had a shot at."
Entering Saturday, the Cubs had dropped their last six Interleague series, last winning one against Oakland, June 15-17 of last season. The Cubs also haven't won a road series since sweeping two games in Florida on May 18-19.
The last time Chicago won a road series of three or more games? May 2-4 in Los Angeles, when the Cubs took two of thee from the Dodgers. They might be able to end that streak soon, as the Royals entered Saturday losers of six in a row.
"I think the point more to me is whether you win the first one or lose a close one, then win a close second one," Quade said. There have been just a ton of close ballgames and we haven't been able to finish them off the way you like."
Wood day to day; Carpenter looks to stay
KANSAS CITY -- Injured reliever Kerry Wood doesn't have a timetable for return, but when he does, rookie reliever Chris Carpenter might stay in the bullpen.
Wood played catch on Friday and is on the disabled list with a blister. Manager Mike Quade said his status is more day to day right now.
"Try and understand the blister thing: It's somewhat healed, but now you need layers of skin, a thickness, or even a callus if you can get it," Quade said. "OK, the blister goes away, but now you've got to toughen it up. You need to throw just enough, then let it do some more callusing or strengthening. And if you go overboard and split it ... So it's a delicate balance."
When Wood does return, Carpenter might stick with the Cubs.
"It's not out of the question," Quade said. "We'll have to take a close look at that. The main reason I say that, is because he's done enough to warrant consideration."
Carpenter, who made his Major League debut on June 14 against the Brewers, has impressed in four innings, spanning six appearances. He's given up just one run, on a home run to the Yankees' Nick Swisher. In Friday's Interleague win over Kansas City, Carpenter walked two, but got through his one-third of an inning with no runs or hits.
The hard-throwing right-hander's potential certainly has Quade intrigued.
"You see a power arm like that and think about the possibilities, it's exciting," he said. "For all the power we talk about, if his breaking ball continues to improve -- he was throwing a 93-mile-an-hour slider last night. Who wants a part of that?"
Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.