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Latos aims to stay on track versus Pirates

Mat Latos tries to stay unbeaten on Tuesday when the Cincinnati Reds continue a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

That may not be a problem, as Latos is a perfect 4-0 in eight starts against the Pirates with a 2.29 ERA.

It hasn't just been the Pirates who haven't been able to touch Latos lately, though, as the right-hander is unbeaten in his last 21 starts and hasn't lost since Aug. 24 of last season.

His streak of 21 consecutive regular-season starts without a loss is the longest in Reds history. Also, his active 10-game winning streak is the longest by a Reds pitcher since Scott Sullivan won 10 straight decisions over the 2001-2002 seasons. Denny Neagle had an 11-game run spanning the 1999-2000 campaigns.

Latos was lucky to escape without a decision on Thursday in Chicago, as the Cubs reached him for four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 6-5 loss.

"It was just one of those days," said Latos, who has won his last four home starts.

Cincinnati rolled in the opener on Monday, as Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce all homered to lift the Reds to a 4-1 win. Votto had two of the eight hits for Cincinnati, which has won six of its last eight contests.

Mike Leake (7-3) allowed six hits and a run over seven innings to win at home for the first time since April 17 against the Phillies.

"He's pitching with a lot of confidence and is throwing a lot harder than he was before," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Francisco Liriano (5-3), who hadn't given up a homer all season, yielded a pair of long balls. The left-hander was charged with five hits and had six strikeouts over six innings for the Pirates, who started a nine-game road trip.

Russell Martin doubled in the lone Pittsburgh run.

Getting the call for the Pirates on Tuesday will be righty Charlie Morton, who will be making his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Morton absorbed the loss in his return on Thursday against San Francisco, as he allowed four runs (2 earned) and seven hits in five innings.

Morton has faced the Reds 12 times and is 4-6 against them with a 4.27 ERA.

The Reds and Pirates each have 25 home wins this season, the most in baseball.