(SportsNetwork.com) - Jake Arrieta aims to open the season with a second consecutive victory on Tuesday night when the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds resume a three-game series.
Arrieta posted an excellent 2.53 earned run average over 25 starts with the Cubs last season and got off on the right foot again last Wednesday. The right-hander logged seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, scattering three hits and three walks.
Arrieta fanned seven batters as well.
"From start to finish I was kind of able to overcome a high pitch count in the first inning or so and give the team some good work today," said Arrieta.
The 29-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts versus the Reds, who counter with young righty Anthony DeSclafani.
Acquired in a trade this past offseason that sent Mat Latos to Miami, DeSclafani made his Reds debut on Thursday in a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, though he did not get a decision. DeSclafani yielded a pair of runs on five hits and a walk over six innings, striking out six.
"I was glad I gave my team a chance to win," said DeSclafani. "Everything felt good. It's great that we came back and got the win."
The 24-year-old has faced the Cubs once before, last season with the Marlins, and yielded four runs while striking out five over 6 1/3 innings of a no- decision.
Arismendy Alcantara and Jorge Soler helped the Cubs to a 7-6 victory in 10 innings in Monday's opener. Soler hit a pair of two-run homers and Alcantara snapped a season-opening 0-for-21 rut at the plate with a walk-off RBI single.
Chris Coghlan smacked a solo shot among his three hits and two runs scored for the Cubs, who won their third straight.
Jon Lester struggled again in his second start with Chicago. He surrendered six runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts over six innings.
"A lot of work to be done," Lester said. "Jorge picking me up, Mendy picked me up."
Brandon Phillips finished with four hits and a pair of runs scored, while Marlon Byrd and Jay Bruce each posted two hits, two RBI and a run scored for Cincinnati, which dropped its third straight following a 4-0 start.
Reds starter Mike Leake allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk over seven frames.
"Offense did their job ... I didn't do my job early and let them back in it," Leake said.
The Reds have taken the last five season series against the Cubs, including an 11-8 record in 2014.