Mat Latos has been a steady contributor for the Cincinnati Reds since being acquired from the San Diego Padres in December of 2011.
Latos hopes to halt his club's current losing streak when he takes the mound on Tuesday night to face his former team for just the second time in the middle contest of a three-game series.
An 11th-round pick by the Padres in 2006, Latos went 27-29 in 72 starts with San Diego over the first three seasons of his career with a 3.37 earned run average before getting dealt to the Reds for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez.
Latos will square off tonight against Volquez.
The Reds right-hander went 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 33 starts with the Reds a season ago and is on pace to beat those numbers in 2013. Through 21 starts, Latos is 10-3 with a 3.39 ERA.
Latos has won back-to-back starts, winning at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and a walk in 7 2/3 innings of work.
"I felt pretty good. I was able to work my fastball in and I made pitches when I needed to. I was able to go deep into the game, which helped our bullpen," said Latos.
The 25-year-old faced the Padres for the first and only time in his career on July 5 of last year, also facing off against Volquez. Neither pitcher factored into the 2-1 Padres win and Latos hurled seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.
Volquez gave up one run and fanned 10 over seven innings and is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career meetings with the Reds, both coming last year.
The 30-year-old righty began his career with the Texas Rangers before pitching with Cincinnati from 2008-2001. He won 17 games in his first season with the Reds and went 30-18 with a 4.17 ERA in 74 games (73 starts) with the club.
However, Volquez has not posted an ERA under four since the '08 season and went 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA in 32 starts with the Padres a season ago. He has struggled to a 5.70 ERA in 22 games this season, going 8-8.
Volquez did win at Milwaukee on Thursday to even his season record, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings to win his second start in a row.
After losing the final three contests of a four-game set with the Dodgers, the Reds were bested 2-1 on Monday night by the Padres.
Chris Denorfia hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Padres, sending a first-pitch fastball from Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for his first career walk-off blast.
Denorfia's home run was the first San Diego hit since the third inning and the team's only extra-base hit.
"Everybody's got to be ready for the fastball. I mean you got to be ready," said San Diego manager Bud Black. "If (Chapman) spits out a good slider, you're in trouble, but you got to be ready for the fastball."
San Diego has won three straight and six of its past eight. The Padres now sit nine games under .500 and 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West.
Cincinnati's Mike Leake was in line to win his fourth straight start after holding the Padres to four hits over seven frames.
But the Reds left 10 men on base and Chapman blew his fourth save of the season.
"We shouldn't have been in that situation. We left a lot of men on base again," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker.
The Reds are five games out of first place in the NL Central and did not have center fielder Shin-Soo Choo in the starting lineup on Monday due to a minor left ankle sprain that has him day-to-day.
This marks the first series of the season between these two clubs. Cincinnati won six of eight against the Padres last year.