Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mat Latos heads into Saturday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals trying to stay unbeaten on the season. He'll also attempt to help his team end a three-game skid and gain ground on the NL Central-leading Cardinals.
St. Louis heads into the day with a four-game cushion atop the division, thanks in part to Friday's 9-2 triumph in the opener of this three-game series.
Latos is 5-0 in 12 starts this season. Aside from a playoff loss last year, he is unbeaten in his last 19 starts, going 9-0 in that span. His last regular season loss came Aug. 24 against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park as he gave up nine hits and seven runs over five-plus innings.
Recently, though, Latos has been awesome. He's given up one run in each of his last two outings. Also, in his last three starts versus St. Louis, Latos is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA.
Latos is 19-4 with a 3.36 ERA since joining the Reds. Cincinnati has gone 32-13 in those starts. Additionally, he's 12-3 in 26 career starts at Great American Ball Park.
Tyler Lyons will make his third major league start Saturday for the Cardinals. The lefty allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Giants last Sunday in a 4-2 loss. Lyons is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his two road starts.
Last night, Adam Wainwright picked up his ninth win of the season and the Cardinals recorded 16 hits. Wainwright (9-3) gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in seven innings to tie the Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin for most wins in the majors this season. He has also allowed three earned runs or less in his last six starts.
Pete Kozma drove in three runs while Jon Jay and David Freese had two RBI apiece for the Cardinals, whose 21 road wins lead the majors (21-9).
"We take pride in driving guys in," said Freese. "We get a lot of guys on base. We just know if we keep the train moving, we're going to have an opportunity offensively to put some runs across the board."
Shin-Soo Choo and Jay Bruce each had one RBI for the Reds, who have lost three straight and four of their last five games. Starter Mike Leake (5-3) surrendered three runs on six hits and a walk over five frames to record his first loss since May 8 against the Braves.
"They've got a great lineup," Leake said of St. Louis. "You can't take a break against any of them. You have to keep going after them and challenge them."
With a win today the Cardinals will capture their fifth straight series against the Reds dating back to last July. St. Louis has won nine of the last 13 meetings.