Right-hander Homer Bailey can stay unbeaten for the month of September Tuesday when the Cincinnati Reds visit the Chicago Cubs in the opening game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
The seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft, Bailey was 10-9 on the season after an 8-2 loss to St. Louis in his final start in August on Aug. 26.
He's subsequently started three times this month and won his lone decision while giving up just four runs in 14 hits in 21 2/3 innings while beating Pittsburgh, 2-1, and getting a pair of no-decisions against Houston.
Bailey last faced the Cubs in Aug. 10 in Chicago and was a 10-8 winner after allowing four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The win moved the 26-year-old to 4-2 in nine career starts against the Cubs with a 5.68 earned run average across 50 2/3 innings.
For Chicago, right-hander Justin Germano aims for his 11th career win in his 91st career major-league appearance.
He was 2-2 after a 7-2 defeat of the Astros in Chicago on Aug. 15, but has since dropped five consecutive starts while watching his ERA swell from 3.19 after beating Houston to 5.60 after a 1-0 loss to the Astros on Sept. 11.
A 13th-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2000, Germano debuted in the majors in 2004 and appeared in two games for the Reds in 2006 - going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA across 6 2/3 innings.
He's since pitched for the Padres, Cleveland, Boston and the Cubs, making 45 total starts and 45 relief appearances across parts of seven seasons.
On Monday in Chicago, Starling Marte drove in two runs, Kevin Correia pitched seven scoreless innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cubs, 3-0, to take the finale of a four-game set.
The game was delayed for 3 hours and 37 minutes due to rain.
Travis Wood (6-12) set a career high for strikeouts, fanning nine, but was tagged for three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
On Sunday in Miami, Ryan Ludwick knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning, lifting the Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Marlins to avoid a three-game sweep.
After both teams failed to score with a runner in scoring position in the 10th, Cincinnati took advantage of its opportunity in the 11th.
Chris Heisey singled to start the frame before Carlos Zambrano (7-10) issued a walk to Joey Votto. Ludwick then ripped a grounder through the left side of the infield to score Heisey from second for the go-ahead run.
Jonathan Broxton issued a two-out walk in the bottom half, but got John Buck to fly out to the deepest part of the spacious Marlins Park to secure his second save with the Reds.
Logan Ondrusek (4-2) earned the victory after striking out Giancarlo Stanton with runners on first and second to end the 10th.
Ludwick finished with three hits and a pair of RBI, while Dioner Navarro and Didi Gregorius each registered three hits and an RBI for the Reds, who own an 11-game lead atop the NL Central and have a magic number of five for locking up the division.
"It was a big one for us," Ludwick said. "They gave us all we could handle for three straight days and just to be able to get that one is very important in my opinion."
The Reds won nine of the first 13 games between the teams in 2012, including three of four in a series from Aug. 17-19 in Cincinnati.