When Walt Jocketty was shopping for another starter in 2011, the Reds general manager was cognizant of what kind of pitchers can pitch well in Great American Ball Park.

To succeed, a pitcher needed to be able to strike out batters, keep his walks down and try to keep the ball out of the air. Although Mat Latos didn’t fit the description to a T -- his flyball rate was higher than the league average in San Diego -- the young right-hander had enough stuff that the Reds pulled the trigger on the trade that brought him to Cincinnati.

At the time, the switch in ballparks was a question mark. With the Padres, Latos pitched in a pitcher’s paradise, while Great American Ball Park has given plenty of hurlers nightmares over the years of popups finding their way into the seats.

With his 4-2 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday, Latos lowered his ERA to 3.02 ERA in Great American Ball Park -- the lowest of any pitcher to have made at least 10 starts at the Reds’ home since 2003. With the win, the Reds have won all three games he’s started against their division rivals, the only three wins Cincinnati has recorded against St. Louis in eight games thus far in 2013. Latos improved to 6-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.87 as the Reds moved back to three games behind the Cardinals.

“He’s taking a page out of Johnny Cueto’s and Brosnon (Arroyo’s) books,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Latos’ success at GABP. “I remember talking to Ferguson Jenkins about pitching in Chicago when I went there as a manager -- do you need to think different? He said, no, you pitch your game. You just hope he’s not a fly ball pitcher and the wind’s blowing out. You have to be yourself.”

However, for St. Louis, Latos has been a moving target. Although Latos didn’t have a perfect inning until his last (the seventh), he still held the Cardinals to just two runs -- both coming on balls that didn’t leave the infield.

“Every time we face him he pitches different. One game he throws a lot of cutters and sliders inside, other games he throws fastball and curveball away. He’s doing a pretty good job,” Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran said. “To me he threw sliders. He tried to keep me off balance. When a pitcher does that to a hitter 90 percent he is going to have success.”

Latos said that’s part of his process, trying to keep one step ahead of the opposing batters.

“They used to kick the crap out of me pretty good,” Latos said. “Again, knock on wood, this year I’ve adjusted to them as they adjust to pitchers throughout the season. I think the key is adjusting, watching video, watching their approach and adjusting to that. Then try to make them adjust to what I’m doing.”

While pitching at GABP can be challenging, Latos noted that it’s made him a better pitcher. The 25-year-old is 20-4 with a 3.31 ERA since joining the Reds last season, and 19-2 with a 3.03 ERA if you take away his first month as a Red.