Two first inning home runs and a solid outing by Mat Latos were enough to get the Cincinnati Reds a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the final game of a three-game series Sunday. The Reds dropped the first two games of the series and fell to third in the National League Central because of it. The Pittsburgh Pirates have won their last four and pulled within 1.5 games of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are now separated by just three games.
Latos tossed 7.2 innings, allowing just one earned run and tying a career high with 13 strikeouts. It was his best start since May 16 where he came two outs away from a complete game. He improved his record to 7-1 with the win and has been the Reds’ steadiest starter all year.
Brandon Phillips’ and Shin-Soo Choo’s first inning home runs off Randall Delgado were the only offense the Reds needed in order to get the win. Delgado recovered nicely, allowing just four more base runners before being pulled after five innings.
The Reds’ starting pitching has been the key to their success this season. Their 3.45 team ERA has them ranked fourth in MLB.
Reds’ starter Tony Cingrani filled in nicely while Johnny Cueto was on the disabled list, allowing just 14 earned runs in his first seven starts in the majors. It’s nice for the Reds to know they have a guy like the 23-year-old Cingrani in their back pocket should they need him to fill in at some point later in the year.
Homer Bailey has the highest ERA of all the Reds’ starters, but his 3.75 mark is completely acceptable when you consider it’s the highest of all of the Reds. Many teams would kill to have the Reds’ starting pitching depth.