Right-hander Henderson Alvarez tries to snap a personal five-start winless skid while pitching the Miami Marlins into a win streak of their own when they visit the Chicago Cubs to open a three-game series on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The 23-year-old was 2-1 on the season after consecutive defeats of Pittsburgh and the New York Mets on July 26 and 31, but has gone 0-2 in five outings since.
He pitched 1 2/3 innings before a rain delay in his last outing and did not return to a game the Marlins ultimately lost, 4-3, at Washington on Aug. 28.
In the five starts since the two-game win streak, he gave up 17 runs on 27 hits over 26 2/3 innings.
The Marlins are just 2-8 in his last 10 outings.
For the Cubs, lefty Travis Wood goes for a second straight victory since losing three straight decisions between Aug. 2-Aug. 17.
He outdueled Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw in his last appearance on Aug. 27 in California, allowing a single unearned run on five hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win.
It was his first win since July 28 at San Francisco, a drought that had spanned five starts in which he'd gone 0-3 while giving up 28 hits and 17 runs in 29 2/3 innings.
He's 1-2 in three career starts against the Marlins with a 10.93 ERA in 14 innings.
On Sunday in Atlanta, the Marlins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-0 win over the Braves, scoring all of their runs in the first three innings against red-hot Atlanta starter Alex Wood.
Wood (3-3) had been unbeaten with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts for the NL-best Braves since joining the rotation full time at the end of July. Miami jumped on him for eight hits in three frames. Jeff Mathis hit a solo homer in the second inning and had a two-run double to cap a five-run third that made it 7-0.
The Marlins avoided a three-game sweep and won for just the second time in their last 12 games. Nathan Eovaldi (3-5) -- 0-5 in his previous eight starts dating to July 20 -- got the run support and the victory, pitching eight innings and giving up just seven hits and two walks while striking out six. Steve Cishek pitched the ninth to finish off the shutout.
Both of Miami's wins during this 12-game stretch have come via shutouts.
In Chicago, Jake Arrieta spun 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball as the Cubs cruised to a 7-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the finale of a three- game set.
Arrieta (2-1) scattered three hits and three walks while fanning four to pick up his second win in his last three decisions. Welington Castillo drove in a pair of runs, while Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo added one RBI apiece for the Cubs, winners in three of their last five games.
The Marlins entered the week with a slim 82-81 lead in the all-time series between the teams, though the Cubs won three of four when they played in Miami from April 25-28.