Former teammates Mike Leake and Travis Wood face each other on the mound Wednesday afternoon when the Cincinnati Reds visit the Chicago Cubs in the third test of a four-game set at Wrigley Field.
Leake, who was drafted in 2009 and debuted in the majors the following season, competed with Wood for a spot in the Reds' starting rotation.
He ultimately won the competition and won eight games in his rookie season, then jumped to 12 in his second year before going 8-9 last season.
He's having his best big-league year in 2013, including a stingy 2.93 earned run average through 73 2/3 innings - more than a run lower than his career mark of 4.03.
Leake is 5-2 in 12 career meetings with the Cubs, including a 6-5 win at Wrigley on May 3, in which he allowed two runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
For the Cubs, Wood, a 26-year-old southpaw, faces the Reds for the fifth time.
He was 5-4 as a rookie with Cincinnati along with Leake in 2010, then split 12 decisions with the Reds in 2011.
He was sent to Chicago in exchange for reliever Sean Marshall before the 2012 season and was 6-13 with the Cubs in 26 starts last season.
He's won five of nine decisions across 12 2013 starts while posting a 2.65 ERA in 78 innings.
Wood dropped a 5-2 verdict in Cincinnati on May 25 after allowing five runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
On Tuesday, the Reds recorded 16 hits, including four home runs, in a 12-2 win.
Zack Cozart and Xavier Paul both hit three-run home runs while Joey Votto had a two-run homer and Jay Bruce also drove in two runs.
Cincinnati starter Tony Cingrani (3-0) pitched seven solid innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out five. He was recalled from Triple-A Louisville prior to the contest.
Reds manager Dusty Baker also earned his 1,620th career win to pass Ralph Houk for 16th-most all-time.
"It's a pleasure to enjoy to get one of these games and see the guys happy about scoring runs and Cingrani was outstanding tonight," said Baker. "He showed his improvement and threw some quality breaks and changeups."
Cody Ransom had a home run but also committed three errors and Alfonso Soriano drove in one run for the Cubs, who have lost four of their last five games. Starter Matt Garza (1-1) was battered, surrendering nine runs on nine hits over five-plus frames.
"Impressive, the way they did it. It's just the way it fell tonight," said Garza.
The Reds won seven of the first nine games with the Cubs in 2013, including two of three in a series in Cincinnati from May 24-26.