Phillips, Latos big in win
After dropping their last two series, the Reds have taken two of the first three vs. the Indians with a 5-3 win on Wednesday.
I did not write the game story, but click here for new colleague Mark Clements’ rundown of the evening.
The Three Stars of the game….
No. 3 star: Joey Votto — 2-for-3, double, single, run scored.
No. 2 star: Mat Latos — 7 ip, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 99 pitches/69 strikes. Both Latos and manager Dusty Baker agreed this was his best start of the season. He was aggressive and threw strikes, with first-pitch strikes to 23 of his 29 batters. His biggest jam came when he had the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth and Latos escaped with just one run.
“That’s huge, but of course I would have liked to have gotten out of it with no runs,” Latos said. “I think any pitcher would. But you look back a couple games and I give up two or three runs right there and my pitch count goes way up and I could potentially cost us a game, so it was good to get out of there with one run.”
No. 1 star: Brandon Phillips — 3-for-3, 2-run HR, 3 RBIs. Phillips’ RBI single in the first was the game’s first run, but he gave Cincinnati some daylight in the seventh when he hit a two-run homer to left field, his seventh of the season. Lifetime vs. his former team, the Indians, Phillips is now batting .347 (50-for-144) with eight homers, 26 RBIs.
“I’ve been struggling when I have runners in scoring position since moving to the fourth spot,” Phillips said. “I’m doing my job, OK, but there’s always room for improvement. I stepped my game up today. I know a lot of people were very happy about that. I try to do the best I can do from the four-hole, try to protect Joey Votto as much as possible. When you get clutch hits like that, positive things happen. That’s why we won the game today.”
News and notes:
*The Reds are 24-10 this season when they score first and 25-10 when they get a quality start.
*Joey Votto has multi-hit games in seven of his last 11.