These right-handers will match up for the first time Tuesday night when the NL Central-leading Reds open a three-game set with the visiting Mets.
Latos (10-3, 3.81 ERA) broke into the majors with the Padres in 2009 and was a teammate with Young (3-6, 4.87) for two seasons. While Latos was developing into a reliable major league starter over those years, Young was limited to 18 starts due to prolonged shoulder problems.
Latos is pitching well now, going 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA over his last four outings and 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his last nine. He gave up one run over seven innings Wednesday and left with the lead at Milwaukee before Jonathan Broxton allowed two runs in a 3-2 loss.
He’s 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts against the Mets (55-60), limiting All-Star third baseman David Wright to two hits - one homer - in eight at-bats.
Young, meanwhile, hasn’t demonstrated that he can put his physical problems behind him with the worst ERA in New York’s rotation. He gave up a season-high seven runs over 4 1-3 innings Wednesday in a 13-0 loss to Miami.
One of Young’s better outings this year came when he yielded three runs over seven innings June 17 in a 3-1 defeat to the Reds, whom he has limited to a .215 average in three career outings. Brandon Phillips is 1 for 8 against him and Jay Bruce 1 for 6.
Bruce hit a two-run homer Sunday in a 3-0 victory over the Cubs. Manager Dusty Baker gave him the previous two days off after a 1-for-16 slump.
Cincinnati (69-46) took the final three games of the series after a five-game losing streak. The Reds continue to play without the injured Joey Votto while third baseman Scott Rolen is day-to-day after missing the last five games with a sore back.
“I think that everyone on this team understands their role and they do a really good job of picking up when they need to,” Bruce said. “Obviously, we need Joey, we need Scott, but everyone is doing a good job right now as far as taking their role, taking their responsibility and getting it done.”
New York completed a 2-4 homestand with Sunday’s 6-5 win over Atlanta. The Mets will visit Washington after this series in this trip against baseball’s top two teams.
“Six-game road trip against the best team in the Central and the best team in the East, certainly a tough task,” manager Terry Collins said. “There’s nothing like taking the day off with a win, the food tastes better on the plane.”
The Reds are 4-1 against the Mets this year, but New York has taken the last four meetings in Cincinnati.
The Mets will be happy not to see Votto, who is 8 for 18 to lead the Reds in the season series.
Cincinnati owns the best bullpen ERA in the majors at 2.66 while New York - which gave up four runs in the ninth Sunday - has been last most of the year at 4.96.