Cubs Manager Dusty Baker said RHP Kerry Wood, who will skip his next scheduled start tonight because of a shoulder injury, might have to go back on the 15-day disabled list.

"Yeah, it's a possibility," Baker said last night before the Cubs played the Cardinals. "They said he was better today than yesterday, but still not quite ready."

Wood, 3-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 10 starts, had a cortisone shot on Thursday after lasting only three innings and giving up three homers in a 9-3 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday. The shoulder has bothered Wood all season, already forcing him to the disabled list once.

LHP Rich Hill, who began the season at Class AA West Tennessee, will take Wood's place tonight at home against the Giants. Hill, 24, pitched in relief for Chicago earlier in the year, including a 41/3-inning hitless outing against Milwaukee on June 22.

"He didn't show that much his first couple of outings, and then that game in long relief against Milwaukee he was very good," Baker said. "That's the guy we had heard about. He's come a long way in a short period of time."

Baker also had considered LHP Glendon Rusch for the start before deciding to leave him in the bullpen.

* GOOD OL' VAZQUEZ: Diamondbacks RHP Javier Vazquez, who struck out a season-high 11 in eight innings in a win over the Braves, has pitched at least eight innings seven times this season and three times in his last four outings.

"We ran into the old Vazquez as we knew him in Montreal," Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said.

* PADRE PROBLEMS: San Diego still leads the NL West, but since going 22-6 in May, the Padres are 17-30. "We've been awful and we know it," Padres Manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've got to dig deep and get out of this."

* CHACON'S DRY SPELL: After losing in Pittsburgh, Rockies RHP Shawn Chacon (1-7) remains winless in nine starts since April 23. He is 0-5 in his career against the Pirates.

-- From News Services

Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, second from left, has been bothered by an ailing shoulder all season.