Colorado Rockies (44-63) at Chicago Cubs (44-62), 2:20 p.m. (ET)

07/30/2014 9:45 AM

07/31/2014 9:41 AM

(SportsNetwork.com) - It's been an eventful 12 months for Jake Arrieta

He's gone from traded pitcher to No. 3 starter to staff ace for the Chicago Cubs, and will make his final start prior to the 2014 trade deadline on Thursday afternoon, when the Cubs host the Colorado Rockies in the finale of a four-game series on Thursday afternoon.

Arrieta was dealt to Chicago in exchange for Scott Feldman last July, then climbed the staff ranks when previous teammates Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were sent to Oakland earlier this month. He's solidified his status as the team's No. 1 man in the wake of that transaction and enters Thursday having allowed three earned runs or less in 14 of his 15 starts this season.

He's under contract for $500,000 this season and is signed through 2017, which boosts the likelihood he'll remain with Chicago past this year's deadline.

He allowed two runs in six innings of his last start against St. Louis on Saturday and has turned in nine straight outings of at least six innings with no more than three earned runs -- a stretch in which he's gone 4-1 with a 1.77 earned run average.

"That performance (against St. Louis) is indicative of how much he's grown," Cubs manager Renteria said. "If that had been a couple years ago, and he was struggling, he wouldn't be able to grind through and pitch six innings without his best command or stuff."

Arrieta has never faced the Rockies.

Colorado won in 10 innings on Wednesday night, following Tuesday's 16-inning marathon that was the longest game -- 6 hours, 37 minutes -- in either franchise's history.

"We got some timely hits (Wednesday)," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We got a few early, and then of course Barnesy had the big one late."

Another after-effect of the long game is Thursday's starter for the Rockies, Pedro Hernandez.

Tyler Matzek had been scheduled to make the start, but he pitched in relief in Tuesday's game, necessitating Hernandez's call-up from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he'd gone 6-6 with a 6.14 ERA in 18 appearances -- 16 starts, two relief outings.

He was released after spending 2013 with Minnesota and signed a minor-league deal with Colorado.

He has never faced the Cubs.

On Wednesday, Brandon Barnes singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th to boost the Rockies over the Cubs, 6-4.

Wesley Wright (0-2) walked Nolan Arenado and Drew Stubbs before giving up a one-out single to Michael McKenry. Barnes stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a single to left. Stubbs then scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4. Adam Ottavino worked around a two-out single in the bottom half of the 10th to pick up his first save in the big leagues.

Brett Anderson got the start for Colorado and struck out nine while giving up two runs on 11 hits over seven innings. Rob Scahill (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for his second major league win. He was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game.

Chicago starter Travis Wood set a career high with 11 strikeouts, but remains winless in eight starts dating to a 3-0 win at Philadelphia on June 15. He gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings.

Colorado and Chicago split six meetings last season.

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