Published January 13, 2015
Despite giving up 15 runs in his last four starts, Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos still totes a perfect record.
Latos, who is 4-0 with a 3.17 earned run average in 10 starts, looks to stay unbeaten when the Reds close out a quick home set Tuesday with the Cleveland Indians before heading to Progressive Field for two more games.
The right-handed Latos has posted back-to-back no-decisions and hasn't tasted victory since May 11 versus Milwaukee. He previously took the mound last Wednesday in a 7-4 road win against the New York Mets and was reached for four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Latos is 2-0 in four home starts and 1-0 with a lofty 7.36 ERA in two career starts against the Indians. The Reds have won each of Latos' last six starts, scoring 35 runs in that time.
Cleveland counters with a streaking starter of its own in Zach McAllister.
McAllister is 3-0 with a 2.45 earned run average in his last five starts -- all Cleveland wins -- and received plenty of run support in last Thursday's 12-3 victory at Boston. He allowed three runs and five hits in five innings to push his record over .500 at 4-3 in nine starts with a 2.89 ERA.
The right-hander has never faced the Reds and the Indians have totaled 36 runs during his five-game unbeaten streak.
Cincinnati got the best of the Tribe in Monday's opener of this series, as Joey Votto clubbed a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. Former Indian Shin-Soo Choo also homered for the Reds, who remained 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead and have won 13 of 16.
"I'm not sure there is a correlation between getting angry early and success later," Votto said on the club's website. "(After games) I try to think about whether I gave away any at-bats and whether or not my focus and intensity was at its highest every single at-bat and whether or not I prepared well today and whether or not I got better today. Those are the things I think about."
Mike Leake did not factor in the outcome after he was reached for two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Jonathan Broxton got the win for getting the final two outs of the eighth inning and hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth for his 13th save.
Nick Hagadone served up Votto's homer and was saddled with the loss. Ubaldo Jimenez started for the Indians and pitched well in the no-decision, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings.
"Situationally, we wanted to try to pound Votto in and we didn't," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "We don't want to let him get his arms extended there. But that's learning of a young pitcher."
Jason Giambi hit a solo home run and Carlos Santana drove in the other run for the Indians, who will host the Reds Wednesday and Thursday at Progressive Field and have lost four straight and six of seven. The Indians also fell 2 1/2 games behind Detroit for the AL Central lead.
The Indians announced that closer Chris Perez is on the disabled list with a right shoulder issue. Perez is on the DL for the first time in his career, while setup man Vinnie Pestano will assume closing duties.
"We talked to Vinnie this morning," Francona told the club's website Monday. "He's comfortable slotting into that inning, and part of the reason we're doing that is it makes it so much easier for us if you have an end point to get to. And we have plenty of depth."
Cincinnati and Cleveland split six meetings a season ago in the battle for the Ohio Cup. The Indians have claimed ownership of the prize the last two years.