(SportsNetwork.com) - Jake Arrieta tries to continue his tremendous season on Thursday when the Chicago Cubs close out a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Arrieta defeated his former team, the Baltimore Orioles, on Friday, as he limited them to a run and four hits over seven innings to improve to 7-4, while lowering his ERA to 2.53.
The Orioles' fifth-round pick in 2007, Arrieta was dealt to the Cubs along with Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger in July 2013. He was also their Opening Day starter in 2012.
"Those years were and still are very important to me for a lot of reasons," said Arrieta. "Regardless of how certain situations went negatively or positively, they all impacted my career in a certain way. I'm thankful for those times over there, those years there, and I'll continue to use them for future reference, to reach back in the memory bank and think about certain times and certain situations that I had there, that I have now, and how I react and handle those. I think about it a lot."
Arrieta beat the Reds June 24 at Wrigley Field, giving up two runs over seven innings.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, will counter with righty Dylan Axelrod, who will be making his second start with the Reds. Axelrod did not get a decision back on Aug. 17 in Colorado, as he allowed a pair of runs and seven hits in six innings.
"I intend to get a good look at Dylan and give him every opportunity to pitch down the stretch for us and show his value to the organization," manager Bryan Price said.
Cincinnati can only hope he deliverers the way Mat Latos did on Wednesday when he pitched into the eighth inning to help the Reds take a 7-5 victory.
Latos (5-3) had a season-best 10 strikeouts over seven-plus frames and was charged with seven hits and four runs. He's 3-0 over his last six starts and hasn't lost since July 27 against Washington.
"It was definitely something that we needed," Price said of Latos' performance. "He made some outstanding pitches, he was down in the zone and commanded the bottom of the strike zone."
The Reds have won three of four since a seven-game skid.
Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler homered in his first career plate appearance and added an RBI later in the contest for the Cubs, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. . Jacob Turner (4-8) suffered the loss in his first start in a Cubs uniform.
"It wasn't the best game they played, but certainly they kept battling," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Cincinnati is 10-5 against the Cubs this season.