Latos earns first career win as Padres top Nats
Mat Latos was so eager to celebrate his first major league win with friends and family that he tucked the game ball into the front pocket of his jeans and almost bolted the San Diego Padres clubhouse before speaking to reporters.
On a memorable night, the rookie's mistake was quickly forgotten.
Latos pitched into the sixth inning to notch his first career victory, light-hitting Luis Rodriguez homered and matched a career high with three RBIs, and the Padres snapped their five-game skid with a 6-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.
Latos (1-1), who lost in his major league debut July 18 after playing in the Futures Game during the All-Star weekend, allowed two runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings. He walked two, struck out five and felt much more comfortable than in his initial outing.
"I was down in the zone, working down in the zone, making pitches when I needed to, just going after hitters," Latos said. "Last time, I felt too much adrenaline - trying to punch everything up a notch."
Padres manager Bud Black preferred Friday's result but didn't want Latos to change his approach too drastically.