video thumbnail

CIN@MIL: Latos tosses seven innings of two-run ball

The Reds are concentrating on the present, but they're also keeping the future in mind.

One day after clinching a playoff spot, the team announced that it is moving Mat Latos up in the rotation to pitch Wednesday against Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Mets in the series finale. The move lines up Latos to pitch the Wild Card game on Tuesday on five days of rest if the Reds do not win the division. Latos would also be available to pitch a potential tiebreaker for the National League Central title on Monday on normal rest.

Latos, who said he is completely healthy after reports surfaced he was still pitching with an abdominal strain, was originally scheduled to pitch Friday against the Pirates.

"He says he's fine," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He said that whatever was written was a while ago and they made it sound like it was yesterday. He's fine. He's ready to go."

The Reds did not help themselves Tuesday and were defeated, 4-2, by the Mets.

"[Wednesday] is another day," Baker said. "We'll put this one behind us. We have four to go. I'd like to win out."

As for Latos, he had allowed only one home run over his previous 10 starts but gave up back-to-back homers to Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata and Neil Walker in his last start. He rebounded to keep the Reds within striking distance but still walked away with a no-decision.

Matsuzaka has gone 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA since going 0-3 with a 10.95 ERA over his first three starts with the Mets. He gave up two earned runs on four hits in six innings against the Phillies in his last start.

"Through my last two starts and today my pace is something that I have focused on," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "The small adjustments I've been making with my mechanics are starting to show in the results, too."

The Reds are one of four teams Matsuzaka has never faced in his seven-year big league career.

"Overall my command was pretty good," Matsuzaka said. "Except for that fourth inning where all my pitches weren't going where I wanted them to. Looking back, I could have pitched differently to prevent those runs from scoring."

Mets: Murphy joins select club
• Daniel Murphy has joined Angels outfielder Mike Trout, San Francisco's Hunter Pence, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Washington's Ian Desmond on the list of players with at least 35 doubles, at least 10 home runs and 20 or more stolen bases this season.

• The Mets removed Jordany Valdespin from the restricted list after he completed his 50-game Biogenesis suspension and placed him on the Triple-A Las Vegas roster. To make room for Valdespin on the 40-man roster, the Mets transferred left-hander Josh Edgin to the 60-day disabled list.

• Mike Piazza will be enshrined in the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday prior to the game against the Brewers.

Reds: Votto poised to make history
• Joey Votto is on track to become the first batter in Reds history and the ninth player to lead the NL in walks for three straight seasons since 1900.

The next time Votto reaches base will be the 311th time he's done so this season, which would tie Pete Rose's single-season club record for reaching safely.

• The Reds are expected to eclipse the Great American Ball Park attendance record of 2,355,259 -- established in the inaugural 2003 season -- on Wednesday.

• The Braves and Athletics are the only other teams to win at least 90 games in each of the last two seasons.

Worth noting
• Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips are the first set of Reds teammates with 100 RBIs each in a season since Johnny Bench and George Foster accomplished the feat in 1977.

• The Mets are 8-11 in extra innings this season.

• Bruce is three doubles shy of becoming only the 46th player in Major League history to produce a season of at least 45 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.

MLB.com Comments