Another CG in book for Latos

Here is a quick edition of the Three Stars following a 2-1 Reds victory over the Giants on Saturday.

No. 3 star: Zack Cozart — 2-for-4, double, walk. Cozart seems to be catching a spark again after a 0-for-19 skid ended before the road trip. He hit a homer on Friday and had a nice game on Saturday. He leads all NL rookies with 19 doubles.

No. 2 star: Ryan Hanigan — 1-for-3. Hanigan drew the bases loaded walk from Barry Zito in the fourth inning that plated the Reds’ first run. Hanigan also enjoyed a fine day behind the plate working with top guy of the day.

No. 1 star: Mat Latos — 9 ip, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 115 pitches/82 strikes. That’s back-to-back complete games for Latos. No Reds starter has done that since Aaron Harang in September, 2006.

“It’s the same thing, just pounding the zone and getting strike one,” Latos said. “You have to get strike one on a good hitting ballclub like them. Those guys when they swing the bat, put good swings on the ball. Strike one is key.”

Click here for the complete game story, with stuff from Hanigan and pitching coach Bryan Price about the improvements Latos has made lately.

Click here for a status update on Joey Votto, who left in the fifth inning because inflammation in his left knee.

News and notes:

*Cincinnati finished June with a 15-12 record.

*In the previous 18 seasons of three-division play, the team leading the NL Central on July 1 won the division 14 times. The Reds have a one-game lead over the Pirates heading into Sunday.

*That’s back-to-back CG’s with Leake and Latos. That hasn’t happened for the Reds since Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey did it in May 2010.

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