Latos, Reds salvage final game in Arizona, 4-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm •  Published: June 23, 2013
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PHOENIX (AP) — Mat Latos started a new winning streak in grand style.

The Cincinnati right-hander went 21 starts without a loss before Pittsburgh beat him on Tuesday. His next time out, he matched his career high with 13 strikeouts Sunday in a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"When he's good, he's real good," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff home run and Brandon Phillips added a two-run shot in the first inning off Randall Delgado (0-1) as the Reds averted a three-game sweep.

That was plenty of offense for Latos (7-1), who allowed a run on six hits with one walk in 7 2-3 innings.

"The first inning it took me a little while to I guess get into a groove," he said. "The first inning I didn't feel too good, didn't feel too great with my command. Then I came out in the second inning and made a little bit of an adjustment, and it worked."

Latos didn't strike anyone out in the first two innings, then fanned 13 over the next 5 2-3.

"Not too many guys score against this guy," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Look what he has done over the last 20 starts. We hung in there. We gave ourselves a chance to win. We hung in there enough to get him out of the game. You are not going to win them all."

After blowing a save in Cincinnati's 4-3 loss on Saturday, Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in a shaky ninth but still got his 19th save.

The loss snapped Arizona's four-game winning streak.

In the ninth, Chapman got the first two batters to bounce out to shortstop before Cliff Pennington singled and went to second on defensive indifference. Pinch-hitter Wil Nieves singled in Pennington to cut it to 4-2.

A wild pitch moved Nieves to second, then Chapman hit Gerardo Parra in the right forearm with a 100 mph fastball.

Pitching coach Bryan Price went to the mound to settle down Chapman, and the left-hander got Willie Bloomquist to pop out to center to end the game.

Latos fanned six in a row in the third and fourth — Delgado, Parra, Bloomquist, Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero and Jason Kubel — all swinging. Of Latos' season-high 110 pitches, 79 were strikes.

"Can't complain with that," Latos said.

The big strikeout number was a mixed blessing, he said.

"You start striking out a lot of players, you start throwing a lot of pitches," Latos said. "Maybe it would have been great to go all nine and not strike out 13, but I'll take it. It was a good win."

He said his slider "felt good coming out of my hand."

"That and the changeup," he said. "The changeup is a pitch I've been working on all season."

The Reds jumped on Delgado from the start.

Choo hit an 0-2 pitch into the swimming pool area in right field, his fourth leadoff homer of the season and ninth of his career. Zach Cozart followed with a double, then after Joey Votto struck out looking, Phillips' homer to left made it 3-0.



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