Young lefty Drew Pomeranz aims for his first win since early July on Friday when the Colorado Rockies visit the Chicago Cubs to open a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
A 23-year-old from Tennessee, Pomeranz was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2010 before heading to the Rockies in the deal for Ubaldo Jimenez in 2011.
He went 2-1 in four starts with the Rockies as a first-year man last season, then picked up his first win of 2012 in his fourth decision with a 5-1 victory at Washington.
He allowed a single hit in 6 1/3 scoreless innings but has not repeated the winning feat since, instead going 0-4 in seven starts while the Rockies have gone 2-5 in the games he's pitched.
Pomeranz has never faced the Cubs.
Chicago's Jeff Samardzija makes his first start against Colorado and the 30th of his career.
The former Notre Dame football player was 6-8 in 14 decisions before the All- Star break and has won just two of five since, the last coming on Aug. 13 when he topped Houston, 7-1.
He allowed three runs or less in seven of eight starts between July 2-Aug. 13, then gave up four runs on six hits in his most recent outing - a 5-3 loss at Cincinnati on Aug. 18.
Though he's won just three of his last nine starts, Samardzija's earned run average has dropped from 5.05 to 4.17.
On Thursday in New York, Chris Nelson's RBI single in the eighth inning was the difference as the Rockies completed a four-game sweep of the Mets with a 1-0 victory.
Rex Brothers (8-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, while Matt Belisle left the tying run on second in the ninth to secure his first save of the season for Colorado, which has won five straight.
On Wednesday in Milwaukee, Yovani Gallardo won his fifth straight start and the Brewers finished off a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 3-2 win.
Bryan LaHair laced his first home run since July 4, but the Cubs lost their fourth straight game.
Travis Wood (4-10) took the loss after allowing three runs in seven innings. He gave up six hits and a walk while striking out six.
"Just a couple of mistakes," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Otherwise, he pitched pretty good."
The teams last met in 2011, when the Rockies won the season series, 4-2. The Cubs last won the series in 2008.