First-year Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos gets called upon to stop a skid today when the Reds visit Miller Park to close out a three-game series with the host Milwaukee Brewers.
The Reds, who'd been among the hottest teams in the major leagues through the weekend, dropped the finale of a three-game series against Pittsburgh on Sunday before losing the opener against Milwaukee on Monday.
The Brewers won game two on Tuesday, when Mike Fiers took a perfect game into the seventh inning on the way to a 3-1 triumph.
Fiers (6-4) threw 76 of his 113 pitches for strikes, allowed just one run and a trio of hits while fanning seven and walking one over eight innings to win his third consecutive start.
Jim Henderson was perfect in the ninth inning to secure his first career save.
"It's always in my head," Fiers said. "I was thinking I wasn't walking anyone and I didn't want to give up any hits. In the sixth and seventh, the thought came into my head a little more, but I was just trying to keep us in the game."
Aramis Ramirez belted a two-run home run in the opening inning and Jean Segura collected his first major league RBI with a ground out in the seventh for the Brewers, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game slide.
Zack Cozart ripped a double off Fiers leading off the seventh to break up the perfect game and Brandon Phillips got the lone RBI on a sacrifice fly for the NL Central-leading Reds, whose lead over the Pirates remained at 3 1/2 games thanks to Pittsburgh's Tuesday loss to Arizona.
Johnny Cueto (14-6) pitched well in defeat, allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts, but it wasn't enough as the righty lost for the first time since July 3.
Latos, who was acquired in the offseason for former ace Edinson Volquez, has won three straight starts since a three-start drought that included a loss and two no-decisions.
He's allowed four runs on 16 hits in 20 1/3 innings in the winning stretch, including 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball in a 3-0 defeat of Pittsburgh on Aug. 3.
Latos last faced the Brewers on June 25 and went the nine-inning distance in a 3-1 victory, allowing four hits and a run and striking out a season-high 13 batters.
He's 1-2 in three career meetings with Milwaukee with a 3.05 earned run average.
The Brewers go with veteran lefty Randy Wolf, who can continue a career's worth of success against the Reds.
Soon to be 36 years old - as of Aug. 22 - Wolf is 11-4 in 23 career meetings with Cincinnati while posting a 3.42 ERA across 147 1/3 innings and striking out 143 batters.
The California native hasn't won in three starts since defeating St. Louis, 3-2, on July 17.
The three subsequent outings - in which he's gone 0-2 - have seen him allow 23 hits and 11 runs in 18 1/3 innings.
The Reds have won seven of 11 games between the teams in 2012, including a three-game sweep in Cincinnati when they last met from July 20-22.
Milwaukee last won the season series in 2006.