CINCINNATI – Mat Latos finally got his first win for Cincinnati after putting his price tag out of mind.
The right-hander pitched seven shutout innings against an old NL West nemesis, and Brandon Phillips homered and drove in three runs Tuesday night, leading the Reds to a 9-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Latos (1-2), the former TinCap, came to the Reds in a four-player deal with San Diego that included starter Edinson Volquez and two prospects who were first-round draft picks. He found himself trying to pitch up to that high price in his first three outings.
It’s always in the back of your mind, Latos said. It’s like you’re saying, Wow, they traded four players for me.’ Who’s to say you’re worth four players, but it’s always in the back of your mind that, if you come here and don’t perform, it’s going to be a long season.
He was back on his game against the Giants, giving up only four singles.
It’s good to get him that first win, big-time, manager Dusty Baker said. He told me after his last start, Skip, that won’t happen again.’ He’s a man of his word.
Latos pitched out of the Giants’ only big threat, getting Nate Schierholtz to ground into a forceout after the Giants loaded the bases on a single and two walks with two outs.
He pitched like he’s capable, Phillips said. It’s all about getting comfortable. He looked very good. I was very proud of him.
Phillips hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Matt Cain (1-1) after originally being called out on a foul tip. The umpires decided the tipped ball hit the dirt, giving him another swing.
The Giants have lost six straight and 11 of 15 at Great American Ball Park.
Pablo Sandoval singled in his final at-bat, leaving him with a hit in each of the Giants’ 17 games. It’s the second-longest hitting streak to open a season in franchise history.
Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the ninth after Cincinnati’s Sam LeCure threw a pitch inside, drawing a warning to both benches. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto was hit in the seventh.
Drew Stubbs doubled in the first inning. Phillips worked the count to 2-2, then tipped a pitch that Posey caught by the dirt. Plate umpire Vic Carapazza called Phillips out, but first base umpire Gerry Davis indicated that the foul tip hit the ground.
Given the reprieve, Phillips homered to center on the next pitch.