MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mat Latos' first appearance of the season for Cincinnati went as well as could be expected in every way — except the final score.
Latos threw 87 pitches over six shutout innings in his season debut, giving up two hits while striking out four in the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Latos, who started the season on the disabled list while recovering from elbow and knee surgeries, left with a 1-0 lead, but the Reds bullpen couldn't protect it, with J.J. Hoover yielding Ryan Braun's game-winning two-run home run in the eighth inning.
Latos retired the first four hitters he faced before giving up a single to Aramis Ramirez. He then retired 13 hitters in a row before Scooter Gennett outlasted him in a long at-bat with two outs in the sixth inning. Gennett, who several times just got a piece of the ball to stay alive, hit the 13th pitch into left field for a double.
Braun then hit a drive to the center field wall that Billy Hamilton caught, prompting Latos to thrust his fist in the air.
Latos said it was emotional to be back on the mound.
"It has been a struggle to get where I was today," he said. "It is definitely good. The outcome kind of sucks, but that is baseball. They are in first place for a reason. You just got to come back strong tomorrow."
Reds manager Bryan Price said Latos did his job very well.
"I don't regret taking him out," he said. "I regret the result, the fact that we lost the game. He did exactly what we had hoped he would do."
Price said the Reds have to bounce back and try to win the series on Sunday.
"You have to be resilient in this game," he said. "There are a lot of guys that are upset, disappointed, frustrated by the game. We come back tomorrow and we got to come and play a good game."
With one out in the eighth inning, Gennett ended up with a double after blooping a ball to center that Hamilton got his glove on but couldn't hold. Braun then drove the first pitch from reliever Hoover (1-5) over the right field fence for his 10th homer of the season.
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