Garza throws 8 strong innings in Cubs' 3-1 win

By Rick Eymer

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Chicago Cubs' Luis Valbuena celebrates after hitting a home run off Oakland Athletics' Bartolo Colon in the third inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in Oakland, Calif.

Ben Margot, Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — Matt Garza pitched eight sharp innings for his third consecutive win, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

Garza (4-1) allowed one run and four hits, struck out five and walked three in his fourth consecutive quality start. The right-hander is 3-0 with a sparkling 0.90 ERA since yielding a season-high nine runs to the Cincinnati Reds on June 11.

With the Cubs well off the pace in the NL Central, Garza could be one of the top targets for contenders looking for pitching help ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Luis Valbuena homered for Chicago, which has won five of seven.

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