Mat Latos carries a lengthy scoreless streak into the Cincinnati Reds' series finale against the Chicago Cubs, but had to deal with right hip tightness in his most recent outing.
The right-hander, though, says he's ready to try to add to his streak and help the Reds continue their recent dominance over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Latos (2-0, 1.83 ERA) has not allowed a run in 17 innings, a stretch that includes a 1-0 victory over Chicago on April 24. He gave up four hits over seven innings in that game, and five hits over six in a 2-1 win in St. Louis on Monday.
Latos beat the Cardinals despite tweaking his right hip during his first at-bat. On Friday he said the hip "feels good," and he appears ready to take a shot at surpassing his longest scoreless streak, a 21-inning stretch from May 1-18, 2010.
"I've been throwing and doing my running and lifting with bands to not put any pressure on it just to be sure. But it's been fine," Latos told the team's official website.
That might not give much comfort to the Cubs (11-19). Latos is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts against Chicago, all in Cincinnati. He won his only start at Wrigley Field on Aug. 19, 2010, allowing two runs over seven innings of a 5-3 victory while pitching for San Diego.
Latos will try to help the Reds (17-14) extend a franchise-best eight-game win streak at Wrigley and earn their 20th victory in 25 overall matchups. Cincinnati took advantage of Chicago's beleaguered bullpen in a 6-4 victory Saturday, scoring four runs in the eighth inning.
Carlos Marmol and Hector Rondon combined to give up four walks and an RBI single to Jay Bruce, the lone hit in the frame. Marmol also hit a batter, but it was Rondon who was charged with the Cubs' eighth blown save in 16 chances.
The Reds had one of the worst road records in the majors (3-10) before their visit to Wrigley.
Edwin Jackson will try to help the Cubs avoid another home sweep to Cincinnati by earning his first win with his new team. Jackson (0-4, 6.27) was tagged for season highs of eight runs and 11 hits over 4 2-3 innings in a 13-7 loss to San Diego on Tuesday.
"It definitely wasn't the best game. I think overall it just been a pretty disappointing month from my standpoint, to myself, to my teammates, to the organizations and the fans, but it is test of character,'' Jackson said. "It's just one of those times where you can crumble or fold or you can fight and bounce back. I definitely have not been one to fold."
Jackson is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three career starts against the Reds, the most recent May 13 while with Washington.
Shin-Soo Choo, who homered in Saturday's win, is 8 for 22 with three doubles against Jackson. Bruce, who had three RBIs in the series' first two games, is 0 for 8.
Alfonso Soriano, who went deep twice Saturday, is 2 for 11 with one homer against Latos. David DeJesus is 3 for 7.