ST. LOUIS -- When you trail a best-of-five series 1-0, the second game is vital, even with the guy who has been the best pitcher in baseball starting for you in the third game at your ballpark.
Thanks to Wood and a Chicago bullpen that has created more than its share of skepticism, the Cubs left Busch Stadium with a split and will lug home-field advantage back to the North Side.
Wood and two other relievers tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, preserving a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that ties the teams' National League Division Series at a game apiece.
Succeeding starter Kyle Hendricks after second baseman Kolten Wong and pinch hitter Randal Grichuk belted back-to-back homers in the bottom of the fifth inning to carve into a 6-1 lead, Wood retired seven of the eight men he faced to earn the win.
"I was fortunate enough to give us 2 1/3 innings," Wood said. "Then Trevor Cahill and Hector Rondon closed the door."
Cahill fanned two in a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Rondon worked around a one-out infield single by center fielder Jason Heyward in the ninth for the save, meaning that 22-game winner Jake Arrieta can give Chicago the series lead Monday at Wrigley Field.
After St. Louis starter John Lackey and two relievers fired a three-hit shutout in Friday night's series opener, the Cubs again played from behind in this one as third baseman Matt Carpenter smoked a leadoff homer to center field.
But Chicago formulated a game-breaking response right away, aided by a terrible defensive inning from a team whose foundation is run prevention.
Left fielder Austin Jackson's potential double-play grounder turned into a throwing error when Wong lost the grip on the ball and flung it into the Cardinals' dugout. Jackson swiped third and catcher Miguel Montero walked, setting the stage for the game-changing sequence.
Hendricks' safety squeeze came back to pitcher Jaime Garcia, who might have had a play on Jackson at the plate but hesitated. Garcia's throw to first sailed wide for a two-base error, tying the score and putting runners at second and third.
"It wasn't optimal, but the pitcher had a tough time with the play," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Shortstop Addison Russell's safety squeeze plated Montero for a 2-1 lead. Center fielder Dexter Fowler followed with an RBI infield hit and right fielder Jorge Soler belted a two-run homer to center, capping a five-run rally in which just two balls left the infield.
Garcia departed after the inning, suffering from a stomach virus. He allowed four hits and five unearned runs in two innings, walking one and fanning two.
"It is hard to watch a club that's played so well defensively see a couple of things happen that are kind of uncharacteristic," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "They do happen; we've got to figure out ways to get around them."
Hendricks retired 14 of 15 hitters before Wong and Grichuk briefly ignited a postseason-record crowd of 47,859 with 856 feet worth of homers. Hendricks pitched 4 2/3 innings, yielding four hits and three runs with no walks and seven strikeouts.
The bullpen took it from there.
"We didn't win yesterday, but we were not overwhelmed by anything," Maddon said. "Today we came out and played."
NOTES: St. Louis pitchers limited opponents to a major-league-low .210 average with runners in scoring position during the regular season and lived up to that stat in Game 1, retiring Chicago in all three of its at-bats in that situation. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is the only MLB skipper to bring his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. ... At age 25, Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks on Saturday became his team's youngest postseason starter since 22-year old Carlos Zambrano started in the 2003 NLCS against Florida.