Lefty Travis Wood can follow up a strong start to the 2013 season on Tuesday night when the Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Wood, a 26-year-old from Arkansas, emerged nearly unscathed from his initial effort after allowing a single hit and two walks in six scoreless innings of a 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh on April 4.
The former second-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds, who came over in a trade for relief pitcher Sean Marshall, won six games in 26 starts for the Cubs last season while holding batters to a .232 average.
He allowed 54 walks and 25 home runs in 156 innings while posting a 4.27 earned run average, down more than half a run from the mark he'd posted in 22 appearances with the Reds in 2011.
Wood is 3-2 in seven career matchups with the Brewers.
Milwaukee goes with Dominican-born righty Wily Peralta, who faces the Cubs for the first time in his eighth big-league appearance.
The undrafted free agent reached the majors with the Brewers last season and was 2-1 in six appearances - five starts - while allowing fewer hits (24) than innings pitched (29) and striking out 23.
He opened 2013 with a shaky 5 1/3-inning stint against Colorado and was charged with the 7-3 loss after allowing four runs on six hits and three walks on April 3.
Peralta is 1-1 in three career road starts, though his road ERA in 2012 (3.86) was more than two runs higher than his home mark (1.20).
On Monday, Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 in his return to the lineup and Martin Maldonado drove in three runs as the Brewers spoiled the Cubs' home opener with a 7-4 victory.
The Cubs plated a pair of runs in the ninth on singles from Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena, but Jim Henderson locked down the save for Milwaukee when he got Starlin Castro to fly out to the warning track with the bases full.
Braun had missed the initial series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with spasms in his neck, but had two doubles and an RBI to help the Brewers snap an early five-game losing streak and notch their first win since Opening Day.
"I thought we played really well today," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I know things got shaky at the end, but I thought we played a really good game."
Norichika Aoki went 3-for-4 with two walks, Maldonado had three hits and starter Marco Estrada (1-0) tossed seven innings of two-run ball, while also producing an RBI double at the plate. He struck out six and gave up five hits.
Castro had tripled and doubled earlier in the game. Cubs starter Edwin Jackson (0-2) was knocked around early but lasted six innings, yielding five runs on eight hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Welington Castillo had a two- run homer in the setback.
"That's not really anything that I make an excuse about," Jackson said of dealing with the wind. "The weather conditions are the same for both teams. Everybody has to go out and pitch and play in the same conditions."
The Brewers won 13 of 17 games in the head-to-head series in 2012, including six of eight at Wrigley Field.