Published November 20, 2014
First-year Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos can keep a personal win streak while snapping a team losing skid tonight, when the Reds host the Milwaukee Brewers in game one of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Acquired in an offseason trade that sent right-hander Edinson Volquez to San Diego, Latos was 0-2 with an 8.22 earned run average in his initial three starts with his new team before a 9-2 defeat of San Francisco for win No. 1 on April 24 in Cincinnati.
He's since gone 4-0 in 10 starts while paring the ERA to a more respectable 5.20, with the most recent win coming via a 5-3 decision over interleague rival Cleveland on June 13.
The Reds have gone in the other direction as of late, losing five of six games after a six-game win streak and seeing their first-place edge in the National League's Central Division shrink to a single game over the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and two over third-place St. Louis.
The Brewers are in fourth place, 6 1/2 games behind Cincinnati.
The Reds were ninth-inning losers in the finale of a three-game series with Minnesota on Sunday, dropping a 4-3 decision when Josh Willingham crushed a go-ahead two-run homer.
Joey Votto gave the Reds a 3-2 lead with a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman (4-4) was unable to hold the Twins down in the ninth.
Joe Mauer ripped a one-out double to set the table for Willingham, who belted a fastball deep into the left-field seats to give the Twins a one-run lead.
Jared Burton, who pitched for the Reds from 2007-11, retired Cincinnati in the ninth to record the first save of his career.
Cincinnati's Wilson Valdez finished with two hits, including an RBI single.
Milwaukee starts right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who goes for a second win against the Reds this season and the fifth of his career against them in 13 starts.
He pitched six innings of four-hit, two-run ball in an 8-3 triumph on May 8, his second win of the season and the start of a subsequent stretch that's seen him win five of seven decisions to get to 6-5 overall.
The 26-year-old, a 17-game winner last season, defeated Toronto, 8-3, in his last start on June 20 after giving up three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
In seven road starts this season, Gallardo is 3-3 with a 4.69 ERA.
On Sunday in Chicago, Eduardo Escobar broke a scoreless tie with a game- winning pinch-hit single to center, lifting the White Sox to a 1-0 victory over the Brewers in the finale of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers spun 7 1/3 scoreless frames and struck out seven, while Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez each registered two hits for the Brewers, who dropped the final two games of the series after taking the first with a 1-0 win in 10 innings on Friday.
The teams split their 16-game series last season after the Brewers won six of the last seven. In 2012, Cincinnati won two of three in an early May series at Milwaukee's Miller Park.