Mat Latos looks to pitch the Cincinnati Reds back into the win column when he takes the mound Saturday in the third installment of a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Latos is 4-0 in his last five starts and is coming off a solid outing Monday in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Cubs. Latos struck out nine batters through eight scoreless innings, running his record to 12-3 in 24 starts to go along with a 3.04 earned run average.
The right-hander has won five of his last six decisions and defeated Milwaukee earlier this season. In six career starts against the Brewers, Latos is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA. In 14 road assignments, Latos is 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA.
Cincinnati is coming off Friday's 7-6 loss to the Brewers, who received a game-winning two-run homer from Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the ninth. Reds All-Star reliever Aroldis Chapman was tagged with the loss and starter Mike Leake gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings.
"He hung a slider to him and he didn't miss," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Chapman's offering to Lucroy.
Todd Frazier finished 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI, while one of Chris Heisey's two hits was a homer. The Reds had won five straight and eight of nine games, and now sit 3 1/2 games off the NL Central lead. Cincinnati, though, is one of the NL wild card leaders.
Milwaukee halted a two-game slide and won for the sixth time in 10 tries with Friday's exciting victory. Lucroy was the hero and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.
"It just feels good to get the win. We kind of had a rough game throwing the ball. It feels good to get a win hitting-wise," Lucroy said.
Juan Francisco homered and Jean Segura collected three hits, two runs scored and drove in a run for the Brewers, who made a winner out of relief pitcher John Axford. Tom Gorzelanny wasn't sharp in his 4 2/3 innings of work and was reached for five runs and six hits.
Taking the mound for the Brewers Saturday will be Yovani Gallardo, who was on the disabled list the past few weeks because of a strained left hamstring. Gallardo last pitched in a 6-5 win against the Cubs on July 30 and did not figure into the decision after he permitted three runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Gallardo, who is 2-3 in his last five decisions, owns an 8-9 mark with a 4.91 ERA in 23 starts this season. He defeated the Reds on June 15 with six shutout innings in a 6-0 road win and is 6-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 17 career starts against them.
The Reds are 7-4 against the Brewers this season.