After losing for just the second time in nine games, the
Cincinnati Reds are looking for Mat Latos to continue his recent
positive performances against the Chicago Cubs.
Latos is also hoping that another strong start versus Chicago
will help him earn his first win of the season in Wednesday’s
Cody Ransom’s stellar debut for Chicago (6-13) and Darwin
Barney’s solo homer in the 10th inning helped spoil Cincinnati’s
attempt at a fourth consecutive win Tuesday. Before Carlos Marmol
recorded the Cubs’ sixth blown save of the season, Ransom hit a
solo shot of his own and made a couple of steady plays in the field
in a 4-2 victory.
That snapped a four-game skid and a seven-game road losing
“Our team needed that win,” Barney said.
The Reds (12-9) will try to bounce back with help from Latos
(0-0, 2.73 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA in his last four
matchups against Chicago.
The right-hander had his best performance of the season Friday,
allowing one run over seven innings to Miami and striking out 10 in
a 2-1 defeat.
“It’s just frustrating that we got a loss,” Latos said. “I did
the best I could. … I gave us a chance to win. It’s one of those
Latos has traditionally labored in April, going 2-8 with a 4.92
ERA in 17 career starts. That’s more than a run-and-a-half worse
than his career 3.38 ERA.
Cincinnati’s relievers have cost him chances to win two games
this month and he was charged with three unearned runs in another
“I’m just glad he’s throwing the ball well,” manager Dusty Baker
told the team’s official website.
Latos will pitch opposite Jeff Samardzija, who has dropped three
straight since winning on opening day. The right-hander gave up
four runs in the first inning of Friday’s 5-4 loss in Milwaukee
before settling down to allow one over his final six frames.
“You have to get him early,” the Brewers’ Ryan Braun said of
Samardzija. “You saw it tonight – once he settles in, he’s as tough
as anybody in baseball.”
Samardzija (1-3, 3.38) has experienced different results in his
two starts against Cincinnati, both at Great American Ball Park. He
gave up four runs on three homers over five innings in a 5-3 loss
Aug. 18 after yielding one run and three hits over 7 2-3 in a 3-1
victory May 2.
Chris Heisey, who hit a solo homer in Tuesday’s loss, is 3 for 7
against Samardzija while Joey Votto, who had a tying single in the
ninth, is 1 for 11 with three strikeouts.
David DeJesus is 3 for 4 with a double against Latos while
Barney is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts.
The Cubs are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time
since Sept. 12-14 and earn consecutive victories over the Reds for
the first time since Sept. 7-12, 2011. Cincinnati has won 16 of 21