The Cincinnati Reds knew they were paying a hefty price to pry Mat Latos away from the San Diego Padres prior to last season, but his addition to the front of their rotation has helped the club rank among the best pitching staffs in baseball the last two years.
The right-hander visits San Diego for the second time since being dealt and will oppose former Red Edinson Volquez as Cincinnati looks to end a four-game losing streak Tuesday night
Cincinnati acquired Latos from the Padres on Dec. 17, 2011, for Volquez and former first-round picks Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal . He was a 14-game winner for San Diego in 2010 and went 27-29 with a 3.37 ERA in 72 starts from 2009-11.
The Reds don't seem to have any complaints about the trade, as Latos (10-3, 3.39 ERA) helped the team rank tied for third in the majors with a 3.34 ERA on their way to an NL Central title in 2012.
He's having another solid campaign and allowed two runs - one earned - in 7 2-3 innings of Thursday's 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers ."Latos was really dealing," manager Dusty Baker said. "His fastball looked like it was going to go low, and then it stayed up in the zone. He also had a really good breaking ball."
Cincinnati (59-48) has a 3.32 ERA that ranks second in baseball to Pittsburgh, but a couple of former Reds helped the Padres earn a thrilling 2-1 victory in Monday's series opener.
Alonso is hitting .375 with nine RBIs over his last 11 for San Diego (49-58), which has won three straight despite scoring three runs over the last two contests.
The Reds have scored three times during their skid and will look to get their offense back on track while facing Volquez, who will oppose his former team for the third time.
Volquez (8-8, 5.70) was 30-18 with a 4.17 ERA for the Reds from 2008-11 and won 17 games in his first season in Cincinnati after coming over from Texas in the trade that sent Josh Hamilton to the Rangers.
The right-hander gave up three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-8 win over Milwaukee on Thursday."Edinson did a nice job early in the game," manager Bud Black said. "I thought he was throwing the ball well. He was really utilizing the curveball and changeup. He was making his pitches."
Both Latos and Volquez pitched well against their former teams when they opposed each other July 5, 2012. Latos gave up four hits and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings, while Volquez allowed one run and fanned 10 in seven frames before the Padres scored in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 win.
Volquez wasn't as good but still picked up the victory in his only other start versus the Reds on July 30, 2012, as he allowed five runs in five innings of an 11-5 win.
Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo sat out the series opener after twisting his left ankle stealing second Sunday and is listed as day to day.
|July 20, 2013||Derrick Robinson||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|July 10, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|June 28, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right lat|
|June 14, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor mass strain|
|June 01, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 23, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 20, 2013||Jason Marquis||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|July 12, 2013||Kyle Blanks||15-Day DL||Left Achilles tendinitis|
|July 07, 2013||Yasmani Grandal||60-Day DL||Right knee sprain|
|June 22, 2013||Clayton Richard||60-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
|June 17, 2013||Everth Cabrera||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres got another clutch, late-inning hit and now can sweep a three-game series from the Cincinnati Reds .
Nick Hundley hit a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning and the Padres beat Cincinnati 4-2 Tuesday night, extending the Reds' losing streak to five straight.
The Padres have won four straight. On Monday night, Chris Denorfia 's pinch-hit, two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning gave the Padres a 2-1 win.
"We talk about it all the time - good pitching and timely hitting, and today our pitchers did a nice job all the way throughout the game," manager Bud Black said. "We got a couple of big swings early and then the real big one late from Nick. That's what it comes down to, a very clutch hit late in the game."
Will Venable , who scored the go-ahead run on Hundleys' hit, went 3 for 3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI.
Venable singled to right with one out in the eighth against left-hander Manny Parra (1-2). Sam LeCure came on and allowed a single to rookie Jedd Gyorko before striking out pinch-hitter Denorfia. Hundley then doubled down the left-field line.
Hundley hit a curveball up in the zone.
"I was looking for something up in the zone I could handle. Whether it was the first pitch or the last pitch, that was where my focus was," Hundley said.
LeCure wasn't going to let Denorfia beat him.
"For sure you take a lot from that at-bat," Hundley said. "For me, I took lot from Jedd's at-bat. You try to hone in and watch how they're pitching the right-handed guys. You try to take things from every at-bat, that's for sure."
Parra hadn't allowed a run since June 7, a streak of 19 games and 15 1-3 innings.
The Reds scored three or fewer runs for the 10th time in 11 games.
"We get runners on and we can't push them over or across," manager Dusty Baker said. "We get runners on late, but can't move them.
"It's just another tough one to lose," Baker said. "We didn't play really good. We made some mistakes. Not much to say. The club is down. We need a victory."
Dale Thayer (1-3) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances.
Cincinnati's Mat Latos and San Diego's Edinson Volquez were matched up for the second time since being part of a five-player trade between the clubs on Dec. 17, 2011. Neither got a decision.
Latos went six innings, allowing two runs and two six hits, striking out six and walking two.
Volquez went 6 1-3, allowing two runs and four hits, walking five and striking out three.
The Reds scored single runs in the second and sixth innings, and the Padres matched them each time.
In the second, Devin Mesoraco 's high chopper to third scored Jay Bruce , who was aboard on a leadoff single. San Diego tied it when Logan Forsythe 's groundout brought in Yonder Alonso , who hit a leadoff single and advanced on Venable's double.
The Reds took advantage of Volquez's wildness to go ahead 2-1 in the sixth. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips drew consecutive walks and Votto scored on Bruce's single to right.
"It's awesome pitching against former teammates," Volquez said. "I've got a good idea facing those guys. I know what they're looking for, what they're trying to do."
San Diego came back and tied it when Jesus Guzman beat out an infield single and scored on Venable's one-out double to center.
NOTES: Reds OF Shin-Soo Choo returned to the starting lineup after missing Monday's game with a sore left ankle. Choo started in LF instead of CF to cut down running and possibly re-injuring his ankle. "This is Yellowstone National Park out here," manager Dusty Baker said, referring to roomy confines of Petco Park. "You need some good fresh legs." ... OF Ryan Ludwick remains "a ways off" from returning, Baker said. Ludwick, 2 for 12 with one RBI in five rehab appearances in the minors, needs at least 50 at-bats before returning to Cincinnati, Baker said. ... Padres CF Cameron Maybin began a rehab assignment with Tucson on Tuesday night. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 12, retroactive to June 10, with a strained left knee. Earlier this year, he spent time on the DL with a right wrist impingement. Manager Bud Black said the rehab assignment will be significantly longer than a week to 10 days. ... The series concludes Wednesday afternoon when Cincinnati's Homer Bailey (5-10, 3.77 ERA) faces lefty Eric Stults (8-9, 3.65). ... Padres LF Carlos Quentin left the game after tweaking his right knee.