Lefty Travis Wood can get above .500 for the first time this season and add to a three-start win streak tonight when the Chicago Cubs visit Citi Field for the first of three weekend games with the host New York Mets.
Wood, in his first season with the Cubs after 39 appearances in two years with the Cincinnati Reds, began the year with losses in his first three decisions before breaking out with a 2-1 defeat of the crosstown Chicago White Sox in an interleague game on June 19.
He's since followed the triumph with a pair more, downing the Mets and the Houston Astros while combining for 14 2/3 scoreless innings of eight-hit ball with a single walk and 10 strikeouts.
Overall, in the three wins, the 25-year-old Arkansas native has surrendered 12 hits and a run, with five walks and 15 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings.
Previously, he'd allowed 29 hits and 18 runs in 35 1/3 innings while going 0-3 with three no-decisions in six games.
Wood is 1-2 in four road starts with a 2.66 earned run average.
On Thursday in Atlanta, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann each belted two-run home runs in the bottom of the first inning to help the Braves down the Cubs, 7-3, in the finale of a four-game set at Turner Field.
Geovany Soto broke up Mike Minor's no-hit bid with a solo homer in the fifth and Reed Johnson added a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh, but the Cubs lost for just the second time in their last seven contests.
Matt Garza (4-7) absorbed the loss after giving up five runs on five hits - three home runs - and three walks with six strikeouts over four frames.
In New York, David Wright homered and knocked in four runs, including the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Mets edged the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Scott Hairston also hit a home run for New York, which won for the sixth time in eight games.
Bobby Parnell (2-1) tossed a perfect top of the ninth to earn the win in relief of starter R.A. Dickey, who allowed five runs on a career-high tying 11 hits and a walk over seven innings.
Dickey also struck out seven and stretched his unbeaten streak to 14 straight starts.
"It's kind of been our mantra from the beginning," Dickey said. "We're going to fight you, we're not going to give up. We're not going to lay down."
The Mets open up against the Cubs with lefty Johan Santana, who was on the losing end of the June 25 matchup against Wood.
Santana, a 33-year-old from Venezuela, took a 6-1 loss after allowing two runs on five hits in six innings with six strikeouts, a defeat he shook off a start later with eight innings of scoreless ball in a 5-0 road win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He is 3-2 in five starts since authoring his signature win of the season, a no-hitter on June 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals that was the first such gem in Mets franchise history.
In eight starts at Citi Field this year, Santana is 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA.
The Cubs won two of three in a late June series in Chicago and won the season series in 2011, four games to two. The Mets last won a season series in 2010 when then won four of seven.