Washington's Gio Gonzalez tries to become the majors' second 17-game winner on Friday when the Nationals continue a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park.

Gonzalez, who is one win behind Johnny Cueto for the National League lead, missed out on his first chance at win No. 17 on Saturday in Philadelphia, as he absorbed the loss against the Phillies, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He also struck out seven and walked a pair, as he fell to 16-7 on the year to go along with a 3.28 ERA.

"They put it together," Gonzalez said of the Phillies. "Those guys can swing the bat, they know how to work the bat. The outcome was there. They were putting me out there, they were giving me a battle, and I was trying to battle back."

New York's R.A. Dickey also has 16 wins and will also be on the hill Friday.

This will be Gonzalez's first-ever start against St. Louis, which will hand the ball to red-hot righty Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright won his fifth straight start and sixth consecutive decision on Sunday in Cincinnati, as he allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 13-10 on the year to go along with a 3.63 ERA.

He has now pitched to a 1.47 ERA in his past five starts and has not allowed more than two earned runs in his previous eight outings.

"I wasn't worn down at all. I felt perfectly normal," said Wainwright, who tossed a five-hit shutout in his previous outing. "I understand I had a couple games in a row where I had nine innings, seven innings, 120 [pitches] or whatever I had, so I get it. I certainly want to take my team further into the game than that, but we'll take a win and go on to Pittsburgh."

Wainwright has faced the Nationals eight times (6 starts) and is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA.

In Thursday's opener, Bryce Harper finished with a two-run home run and drove in three, as Washington pounded the Cardinals, 8-1. Jayson Werth added two hits, including a solo homer, two RBI and scored three times for the Nationals, who have won two in a row to erase the memory of a five-game skid.

"I don't think any of us were panicking or upset about anything," Werth said.

Edwin Jackson (8-9) tossed eight strong innings, scattering four hits and walking two with an unearned run while fanning 10.

Jaime Garcia (3-6) lasted just 5 1/3 frames, charged with nine hits and six runs in defeat for the Cardinals, losers in three straight.

"I felt like every mistake I made they took advantage of it," Garcia said.

Washington was 4-2 versus the Cardinals last season.