Reds’ Latos tries to defeat former Padres club in series opener
Mat Latos has gone the distance in his last two starts — both wins — and
will try to lift the Reds’ spirits when he puts his unbeaten streak on the
line tonight in the opener of a four-game series against his former San Diego
Padres teammates at Petco Park.
Latos was traded from the Padres to Cincinnati in the offseason and began his
first stint with the Reds 0-2 in three starts. Something has clicked since
then as evidenced by his 7-0 mark and 3.72 earned run average in the past 13
starts. Latos, who won 27 games in three years with the Padres, struck out 13
batters and allowed one run in a 3-1 win over Milwaukee on June 25. Five days
later he ate up nine more innings in a 2-1 win at San Francisco, as he held
the Giants to a run and two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
The right-hander, who became the first Reds pitcher to post consecutive
complete games since Aaron Harang in September 2006, is 7-2 with a 4.42 ERA in
16 starts this season and is 2-1 in seven road assignments. The last Reds
pitcher to throw three straight complete games was Jose Rijo in September
1990. No Reds pitcher has enjoyed a winning streak longer than seven games
since Danny Graves was victorious in his first eight decisions back in 2000.
Cincinnati has lost back-to-back games no thanks to Johnny Cueto and Mike
Leake, and suffered a 4-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. Leake actually
pitched well in defeat and yielded three runs — two earned — in seven
“I helped them early. I left the balls over the middle,” Leake said after
spotting the Dodgers a 3-0 lead after one frame. “I located the ball well
after the first inning.”
Devin Mesoraco homered in Cincinnati’s three-hit attack, while Joey Votto and
Zack Cozart had the other hits. The Reds have lost five of eight games and are
one game behind Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead. They are also 3-4 on an
11-game road trip out in California.
Meanwhile, the Padres are coming off their first ever three-game sweep at
Arizona and won for the fifth straight time with Wednesday’s 8-6 win.
Yasmani Grandal homered, Chris Denorfia went 4-for-5 with three runs scored
and Yonder Alonso added two hits and two RBI for San Diego, which is 8-3 in
the past 11 games and went 7-3 on a 10-game road trip. Grandal has four home
runs in his last five games.
“If you would have told me I was going to hit four home runs in five games I
would say, ‘No way,’” Grandal said on the club’s website. “I am definitely
surprising myself. It’s unexplainable.”
Huston Street retired all three batters he saw in the ninth for his 13th save
of the season, while Luke Gregerson struck out the final two batters in the
seventh to pick up the win. Jason Marquis had a rough start for the Friars
and was reached for four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Former Reds starter and current Padres hurler Edinson Volquez gets the nod
Thursday and was a part of the deal that shipped Latos to Cincinnati. Volquez
has never faced the Reds and looks to continue his recent success against them
tonight. He has won three of four starts and is coming off Saturday’s 8-4
victory at Colorado in which he gave up two runs — one earned — in six
innings. The effort lifted his mark to 5-7 in 17 starts with a 3.68 ERA.
Volquez, a right-hander, is 2-4 in 10 outings at Petco Park this season. He
has lasted at least five innings in each of those appearances.
San Diego and Cincinnati are meeting for the first time since the Reds won
four of six matchups a season ago.
- Blue Jays eye sweep of visiting Rockies
- Lohse aims to get on track in Houston
- Phils hope to break the brooms out on Nats
- Angels hand Wilson ball in meeting with Mariners
- Reds, Pirates jockey for position in the Steel City
- Athletics try to distance themselves from Rangers
- Cubs rely on Jackson against Cardinals
- Indians pin hopes on Masterson in finale with Royals
- Red Sox hope to pad AL East lead versus Rays
- White Sox send Sale to the hill in Minnesota