Latos gets ball for Reds in St. Louis

Prized offseason acquisition Mat Latos makes his third start in a Cincinnati uniform tonight when the skidding Reds visit Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the second of three games against the defending world champion Cardinals.

In Tuesday's opening game, Matt Carpenter drove in the game-winning run with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning as St. Louis eked out a 2-1 win.

After loading the bases in the ninth but failing to score, St. Louis loaded the bags again in the 10th when David Freese led off the frame with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yadier Molina. Jon Jay was then intentionally walked and Daniel Descalso also drew a walk.

Facing Bill Bray, Carpenter battled the Reds hurler to a full count before lifting the seventh pitch of the at-bat to right field. Jay Bruce made the catch, but Tyler Greene beat the throw home to win it for the Cardinals.

Jason Motte (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless top of the 10th, while Sam LeCure (0-1) was charged with the deciding run.

Carlos Beltran cracked a home run for St. Louis, which has won three straight games.

Zack Cozart knocked in the only run for the Reds, who have lost four of their last five.

Latos, a 24-year-old Virginia native with 27 career major-league wins, was sent to the Reds in a deal that saw former ace Edinson Volquez head to San Diego.

Volquez had been acquired when the Reds sent outfielder Josh Hamilton to Texas.

Latos debuted with an 8-3 loss to Miami on April 7 in which he gave up four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, then got a no-decision five days later after allowing two runs on five hits in five innings against Washington.

The Reds lost the game, 3-2.

Latos is 1-2 in three career meetings with St. Louis, allowing 16 runs on 23 hits in just 13 1/3 innings - an ugly 10.80 earned run average.

For the Cardinals, Mexican-born lefty Jaime Garcia faces the Reds for the 11th time in his career.

The 25-year-old is 6-1 in his previous 10 outings - eight starts - with a 3.38 earned run average across 50 2/3 innings.

He faced the Reds most recently on April 11 in Cincinnati and gave up 11 hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings en route to a no-decision in the Cardinals' 4-3 loss.

In his only other start this season, Garcia allowed two runs on five hits in six innings of an 11-5 defeat of Milwaukee.