(SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh righty Gerrit Cole goes after his fourth straight win on Wednesday when the Pirates try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Cole did not get a decision in his season debut, but has reeled off three straight wins since, while giving up just one earned run in each outing. He was terrific in Arizona on Friday, as he held the D-backs to a run and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings to lower his ERA to 2.19.
He also struck out seven and walked two, improving to 7-0 since Sept. 7 last season. Cole has also struck out 27 batters in 24 2/3 innings.
"I just kept a good delivery throughout the game and tried to stay in a good rhythm," Cole said. "Just kept trying to stay aggressive."
Staying in the win column may not be an issue on Wednesday, as Cole has beaten the Cubs all five times he's faced them, pitching to a 3.48 ERA in the process.
Chicago, meanwhile, will turn to righty Kyle Hendricks, who is still looking for his first win. Hendricks did not get a decision for the third straight game on Thursday in Pittsburgh, as the Pirates reached him for three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings of the Cubs' 5-4 loss.
Hendricks, who will be making his second-ever start versus the Bucs, has a 5.74 ERA this season
Chicago won its fourth straight game on Tuesday, as Dexter Fowler went 3-for-4 with two RBI to power the Cubs to a 6-2 victory.
Starlin Castro finished with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Junior Lake, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell also drove in a run apiece for the Cubs, who have won six of eight.
Starter Travis Wood (2-1) was solid in the win, surrendering just two runs on five hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings of work.
"When your starting pitchers go deep into the game, all of a sudden your bullpen gets better," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's an easy equation."
Starling Marte provided a two-run homer for the Pirates, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a five-game win streak.
Jeff Locke (2-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and three walks over 3 2/3 frames.
"You have to be able to get ahead of these guys and try to put them away as soon as you can," said Locke. "It kind of slipped away."
The Pirates took two of three from the Cubs last week.