Righty Carlos Villanueva meets the Miami Marlins with the chance to close out a four-game sweep on Sunday when the Chicago Cubs visit Marlins Park to wrap up a series.
The 28-year-old Dominican, who'd started just 56 times in his initial 301 big- league outings, has made four straight starts to begin 2013 and has turned in quality starts in each.
He defeated Texas with seven innings of two-run ball on April 18, and has compiled three no-decisions against Atlanta, San Francisco and Cincinnati while allowing 12 hits and three runs in 22 1/3 innings.
Opposing batters are hitting just .167 off of him, 78 points less than his career mark of .245.
Villanueva is 1-1 in 10 career meetings with the Marlins and 0-1 in five trips to Miami.
For the Marlins, righty Ricky Nolasco tries for a second straight win after going 0-2 with two no-decisions in his initial four starts.
The 30-year-old gave up six hits and two earned runs in five innings of an 8-5 win at Minnesota on April 23, after having allowed 10 runs in 23 1/3 innings of his initial four starts.
The victory came in his 200th big-league appearance.
Nolasco was drafted by the Cubs in 2001 but never reached the big leagues with them. He was traded to the Marlins in December 2005 in a deal that sent Juan Pierre to Chicago.
He's 4-2 in eight career meetings with the Cubs.
On Saturday, David DeJesus went 2-for-4 and his go-ahead RBI single in the seventh paved the way for a Cubs 3-2 victory over Miami.
DeJesus scored a run earlier, while Luis Valbuena had two hits and plated a run for Chicago.
Travis Wood (2-1) struck out five over six stellar innings, yielding just two runs on three hits. In his previous two starts against the Marlins, he combined to surrender 15 runs on 16 hits in eight innings pitched.
Starlin Castro added a hit and made a spectacular play at short in the eighth to keep the lead intact. Kevin Gregg picked up his third save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his first homer of the season and Miguel Olivo added a solo shot as well for the Marlins, losers of eight of their last 10 games.
Alex Sanabia (2-3) was touched for three runs on six hits and two walks over 6 2/3 frames.
"It feels like I'm saying the same thing every single night," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We were right there."
The Marlins won four of six games between the teams in 2012.