Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann can stretch his unbeaten streak to four starts on Monday when the Washington Nationals visit Wrigley Field to open a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs.
The 27-year-old Wisconsin native was 12-6 on the season after an ugly 11-0 loss to the New York Mets on July 26, but has since gone 2-0 in three starts while allowing just three runs in 17 innings.
He picked up a 4-1 win at Milwaukee with six scoreless innings on Aug. 2, allowed two runs in a no-decision against Atlanta on Aug. 7 and won game No. 14 with seven innings of one-run ball against San Francisco on Aug. 14.
The two wins eclipsed his personal best of 12 that he achieved across 32 starts last season.
In five career meetings with the Cubs, Zimmerman is 1-3 with a 4.22 earned run average.
He faces righty Jeff Samardzija, who's not won since a 3-1 defeat of the Colorado Rockies on July 19.
The former Notre Dame football star is 0-2 in five starts since, including losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia in which he was tagged for 12 runs in 9 1/3 innings.
The Cubs are 1-2 in the other three games while Samardzija has given up a more respectable eight runs in 19 innings against Arizona, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
He's 1-2 in 10 lifetime meetings with the Nationals.
On Sunday in Atlanta, Julio Teheran threw six shutout innings and the Braves defeated the Nationals, 2-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Turner Field.
Jayson Werth drove in the lone run for the Nationals, who have lost three of four following a five-game winning streak.
Gio Gonzalez (7-6) had nine strikeouts, but gave up both runs on five hits and four walks over seven innings.
In Chicago, Jon Jay drove in four runs and Adam Wainwright turned in a seven- inning gem, with the pair leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 ousting of the Cubs in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Junior Lake had three of Chicago's six hits and knocked in the Cubs' only run with a sixth-inning double.
Edwin Jackson (7-13) pitched well in defeat, permitting three runs -- one earned -- despite walking four over six innings.
The Cubs won two of three when the teams last played in Washington from May 10-12.