This time last year, Travis Wood was pitching for Iowa. This time last September, he was fighting out of an eight-game losing streak.

So when the Cubs left-hander pitched six scoreless innings in his season debut Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates to earn the victory, it held a little extra meaning for him.

‘‘Absolutely,” said Wood, who allowed one hit and two walks. ‘‘It’s great to start the season up here and get off to a good start. Hopefully, we can grow from there.’’

Matt Garza (strained latissimus dorsi) is expected back from the disabled list Friday and in the Cubs’ rotation sometime in May. The way Wood (1-0) has pitched since the spring, and the fact that he’s the only lefty in the starting mix, could give him a head start on sticking when Garza returns.

For now, he seems more focused on the Cubs’ opening-series victory as they head to Atlanta.

‘‘Huge,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s got to be our goal, for each series. If we take a loss [like Wednesday], take a loss and come back out the next game and get after it.’’