Latos fans 13 as Reds top Diamondbacks

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mat Latos did not let the sting of his first loss in almost 10 months linger.
Latos tied a career high with 13 strikeouts in a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, his first outing since a streak of 21 starts without a defeat was halted by the Pittsburgh Pirates last Tuesday.
"(The streak) was fun, but you can't go perfect all year," said Latos (7-1), who had not lost since Aug. 24, 2012, before falling to the Pirates.
Shin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips hit first-inning home runs off Arizona starter Randall Delgado (0-1) to help the Reds break a three-game losing streak.
Leadoff hitter Choo went deep on the third pitch of the game, and Phillips hit a two-run homer, his 11th of the season, after Zack Cozart doubled.
"It felt good to come through for the team," said Phillips, who has been dealing with a sore left forearm the past two weeks. "I'm trying to step my game up. I'm not my normal self. I'm not 100 percent. But there are no excuses. I'm still in the lineup and I have to do my job."
Latos did not have a strikeout in the first two innings before striking out the side in the third, fourth and sixth innings, mixing a mid-90s fastball with an 88 mph slider. He struck out two in the fifth, one in the seventh and one in the eighth. Latos wound up allowing one run on six hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings.
"When he's good, he's real good," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "We're just trying to get him some runs, and we're trying to get him to stay out there a little longer. He did that today."
Gerardo Parra, who had two hits, doubled and scored on Miguel Montero's two-out single in the eighth inning, knocking out Latos.
The D-backs are the only major league team that has not been shut out this season. Every other team has been blanked at least three times.
"His slider is a little different than any other slider you see. It has a lot of depth to it, just comes in hard and goes straight down. He located it really well," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of Latos.
Latos struck out 13 against Milwaukee on June 25, 2012.
"It took me a little while to get into a groove," Latos said. "First inning didn't feel too good. Came out in the second inning and made a little bit of an adjustment, and it worked."
Right fielder Jay Bruce, who hit three home runs in the first two games of the series, had two doubles for Cincinnati. Cozart also had two hits, and his sacrifice fly in the second inning made it 4-0.
Aroldis Chapman gave up an RBI single to Wil Nieves in the ninth before getting Willie Bloomquist to fly out with runners on first and second for his 19th save.
The Reds (45-32) have the third-best record in baseball, but they are in third place in the NL Central behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh.
The D-backs (41-34) had a four-game winning streak snapped, but they maintained a three-game lead in the NL West.
NOTES: Choo's leadoff homer was his fourth of the season, one behind Arizona's Parra, who is the National League leader. ... The D-backs announced after the game that 2B Aaron Hill would join the team on the 10-game road trip that begins in Washington on Tuesday. Arizona optioned LHP Joe Paterson to Triple-A Reno after the game to make room on the roster. Hill has been on the disabled list since April 15 because of a broken left hand. ... Bruce had his run of eight home runs in nine games broken Sunday. The stretch tied Leo Cardenas, Johnny Bench and Greg Vaughn for the best nine-game run in franchise history in the last 50 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Frank Robinson had nine home runs in nine games in August 1962. ... Cincinnati will conclude interleague road play for the season with a two-game series against Oakland beginning Tuesday and a three-game weekend set in Texas. The Reds swept a three-game series against the A's in Oakland in 2010, the last time the teams met. ... D-backs RHP Trevor Cahill will make his scheduled start Tuesday after recovering from a right hip contusion that limited him to one inning when he took a line drive to the hip last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins.

What to Read Next