Reds-Rockies Preview

Just about everything is going right for the Cincinnati

Reds.

In the midst of their longest winning stretch in 13 seasons, the

Reds can complete their first road sweep of the Colorado Rockies

since 2000 with a 10th straight victory Sunday at Coors Field.

Ryan Ludwick hit two of Cincinnati’s five solo homers as the

Reds (60-40) overcame a three-run first-inning deficit to beat

Colorado 9-7 on Saturday. Winners in 16 of 18, the NL

Central-leading Reds have not been on such a run since winning 10

in a row from June 21-July 1, 1999.

“We’re playing good baseball,” second baseman Brandon Phillips

told the Reds’ official website. “We just feel like we’re coming

together. We’re all having a good time.”

Cincinnati, which has not swept a series at Coors Field since

July 13-15, 2000, appears to be taking its current success in

stride.

“We just accept it and keep running with it,” manager Dusty

Baker said. “You don’t think about how you’re doing it. You don’t

think about how long you’ve been in it, and you don’t think about

when it’s going to stop. You just come out and expect to win every

day.”

Ludwick is batting .423 (11 for 26) with three home runs and

seven RBIs in seven games since going 2 for 15 in his previous

five.

Teammate Scott Rolen, who also went deep Saturday, has batted

.346 (9 for 26) with two homers and five RBIs in his last seven

contests.

Cincinnati’s Mat Latos (8-3, 4.30 ERA) is expected to take the

mound in the finale despite suffering a sprained ankle while giving

up two runs in five innings of an 8-3 win at Houston on Monday for

his first win in four starts.

Latos, 4-2 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts against the Rockies,

has won three straight outings versus Colorado despite giving up

five solo homers in 7 1-3 innings of a 7-5 home win May 27. Latos

improved to 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in four starts at Coors Field after

he allowed a run and struck out nine over 8 2-3 innings of a 2-1

win Sept. 20 while with San Diego.

Carlos Gonzalez was one of five Rockies to homer off Latos at

Cincinnati earlier this season. He’s 5 for 15 with two home runs

against Latos, and is batting .434 with 27 RBIs during a

career-high 27-game home hitting streak.

Colorado (37-62) has lost two in a row and 10 of 13.

Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 11.25 ERA) takes the mound Sunday trying

for a better performance after he allowed five runs and walked four

in four innings of a 5-3 loss at Arizona on Monday in his first

start since Colorado acquired him from Kansas City on July 19.

The left-hander went 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 12 starts for the

Royals this season.

“I didn’t know what to expect because it’s been a long time

since we’ve seen him,” said Colorado manager Jim Tracy. “He had

some trouble during the course of his time with Kansas City but we

saw some good breaking pitches from him.”

Sanchez is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA in five starts versus

Cincinnati.