Streaking right-hander Kyle Lohse can continue a recently torrid run on Monday night when the Milwaukee Brewers visit Wrigley Field for the first of three games with the Chicago Cubs.
An offseason free-agent acquisition after winning 16 games for St. Louis in 2012, Lohse struggled in his initial two months with the Brewers - going just 1-6 with a 4.37 earned run average through May 30.
He's 6-2 in 11 starts since, however, including a seven-inning stint on July 24 against San Diego in which he allowed a single run on five hits in seven innings.
Lohse has allowed three runs or less in 10 of 11 starts since the beginning of June - including a 9-3 defeat of the Cubs on June 25 in which he surrendered eight hits and three runs in seven innings.
That win boosted him to 5-4 in 17 career starts against Chicago,
He'll meet right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who's won three of his last five decisions after beginning the season at 3-7.
The former Notre Dame football star had a 3-7 record following a 6-2 home loss against Pittsburgh on June 8, but followed it with consecutive defeats of St. Louis and Houston on June 18 and 23.
He picked up his most recent win on July 19 at Colorado after scattering four hits and allowing a single run in 7 1/3 innings of a 3-1 triumph.
Samardzija is 2-4 in 18 meetings with the Brewers with a 4.14 ERA.
On Sunday in Denver, Michael Cuddyer drove in the tying run in the eighth inning and scored on Nolan Arenado's base hit as the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 6-5 win over the Brewers in the rubber match of the three-game series.
In San Francisco, Welington Castillo clubbed a tie-breaking solo homer in the seventh to back a solid all-around effort from starter Travis Wood, as the Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Giants with a 2-1 triumph at AT&T Park.
Wood (7-7) struck out seven while yielding an unearned run on four hits and four walks over seven stellar frames to notch the victory. The 26-year-old left-hander also homered and finished with two of the five hits for the Cubs, who secured their first three-game sweep of the Giants in San Francisco since Sept. 13-15, 1993.
The Brewers entered the week with a slim 123-120 lead in the all-time series between the teams and had won five of the initial eight games played in 2013 - including four straight between April 19 and June 25.