Cincinnati, OH – Mat Latos fired his second career complete game and struck out a career-high 13 batters Monday as the Reds held off the Brewers, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park.
Latos (6-2), who the Reds acquired in an offseason trade that sent right- hander Edinson Volquez to San Diego, scattered four hits and walked just two in his first complete game in over two years. He also added two base hits at the plate.
"That was easily the best performance (as a Red)," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker about Latos. "He got two hits and a complete game. That was an outstanding, outstanding performance."
The 24-year-old right-hander is now 6-0 over his last 12 starts and hasn't absorbed a loss since April 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jay Bruce clubbed a two-run double in the fourth, while Drew Stubbs, who appeared in the lineup for the first time since suffering a left oblique strain on June 6, registered two hits, scored twice and added a stolen base to help the Reds earn just their second win in their last seven games.
Yovani Gallardo (6-6) pitched well in defeat, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Norichika Aoki belted a solo shot in the setback, Milwaukee's third in as many games.
"We're not giving ourselves many opportunities to score runs," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke about his club, which finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. "We only get two or three a night. You better really be good with runners in scoring position and we really haven't been."
The Reds got all the runs they would need in the top of the fourth as Stubbs ripped a double to start the frame. Joey Votto then walked on five pitches and Brandon Phillips moved both runners up with a bunt.
Bruce then smacked a double the other way into left field, scoring Stubbs and Votto to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Latos allowed just two hits on a pair of bunt singles over the first five frames, but Aoki crushed a fastball deep to right to start the top of the sixth inning and trim Milwaukee's deficit in half.
Latos was able to bounce back, though, retiring 12 of the next 14 batters he faced over the final four innings.
Cincinnati added some insurance in the eighth as Stubbs singled to start the frame, stole second and then scored on a double to center from Phillips to account for the final margin.
The Reds activated Stubbs from the 15-day disabled list before the game and outrighted outfielder Willie Harris to Triple-A Louisville...There has now been at least one home run hit in 63-straight games at Great American Ball Park after Aoki's homer in the sixth...Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday. He finished the game 0-for-4.