Ricky Nolasco has more than held his own since joining a Los Angeles Dodgers rotation already loaded with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Nolasco tries to win a fifth straight decision and pitch the Dodgers to a series victory over the Chicago Cubs in Wednesday afternoon's finale of a three-game series.
Nolasco has gone 5-1 with a 2.53 earned run average in nine starts with the Dodgers since being acquired via trade from the Miami Marlins in early July. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of those outings and is coming off his longest start since the trade.
The right-hander hurled eight scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday, scattering two hits without a walk and striking out six. That pushed him to 10-9 on the year with a 3.42 ERA in 27 total starts this season.
"I felt good tonight, I had good tempo and good rhythm," said Nolasco. "I tried to stay focused. ... My fastball and slider were good, throwing strikes was the key."
Nolasco, 30, has won a pair of starts versus the Cubs this season, including one with the Dodgers on Aug. 1, and is 6-2 against them lifetime with a 3.19 ERA in 10 games (9 starts).
The Cubs will send out righty Edwin Jackson, who has gone 0-2 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts this month after winning three times in five outings during July.
Jackson was handed a 6-0 lead after the first inning of Friday's start in San Diego, but failed to hold it as he allowed six runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits over six-plus innings. The Cubs went on to lose 8-6.
Jackson is 7-13 with a 5.00 ERA in 25 starts on the season and will face the Dodgers for the sixth time in his career. The 29-year-old is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA against them lifetime.
The Cubs lost their eighth straight game to the Dodgers dating back to last season when they dropped Monday's opener, but saw Travis Wood outduel Kershaw last night in a 3-2 win.
Wood worked seven innings and was charged with one unearned run on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
"To go out there and go seven innings against a team like that is huge. I was fortunate enough to get some quick outs. You have to be on top of your game against Kershaw. Pulling out a win like that was huge," Wood said.
Dioner Navarro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored against his former club and Starlin Castro added two hits and an RBI as the Cubs beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles for the first time since May 2, 2011.
Chicago had lost eight of 10 overall coming into the game and Kevin Gregg put the tying run on base in the ninth before getting rookie sensation Yasiel Puig to pop out, ending the game.
Kershaw (13-8) was pegged with the loss after giving up two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits while striking out nine over 5 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since April 23. He also gave the Dodgers a scare by taking a line drive off his left ankle to begin the sixth frame, but stayed in the game.
"That wasn't what we've come to see from Clayton tonight. He wasn't as sharp as he has been," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Travis stayed down the middle of the plate. We started to get to him, but we couldn't put him away."
Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe each drove in a run for the Dodgers, who have dropped three of their last four games but remain 8 1/2 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks atop the NL West standings.
The Dodgers fell to 20-6 in August.