Preview Boston at Cincinnati
(SportsNetwork.com) - Mat Latos eyes a third straight win on Tuesday when the Cincinnati Reds welcome the Boston Red Sox to Great American Ball Park for the start of a brief two-game set.
Latos, who missed the first two and a half months of the season recovering from a flexor strain, defeated Cleveland on Wednesday, holding the Indians to three runs - all in the eighth inning - and six hits in 7 2/3 innings to run his record to 4-3 to go along with a 3.12 ERA.
"A lot of what helped today was a lot of strike one's for me," said Latos, who did not get a decision in his only other start versus the Red Sox. "[I tried to] pound the zone down and keep it down, and getting strike one and going from there."
Cincinnati managed to avoid Miami's brooms on Sunday, as Devin Mesoraco hit a grand slam and a two-run home run in the Reds' 7-2 win over the Marlins. Todd Frazier drew a bases loaded walk to bring in the other run for the Reds, who won for a fourth time in their last six games.
"You just try to go out there and help the team any way you can," said Mesoraco. "I've been fortunate in that I have a lot of guys on base whenever I come to the plate. I just try to make contact and see where the ball goes."
Johnny Cueto (14-6) won his fourth straight start and sixth straight decision as he gave up just two runs on five hits with a pair of walks and nine strikeouts in eight innings.
Boston, meanwhile, took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend. In Sunday's rubber match, Yoenis Cespedes's first home run as a member of the Red Sox broke a scoreless tie and gave Boston a 3-1 victory.
Cespedes' three-run blast in the eighth inning made a winner of Rubby De La Rosa (4-4), who held a potent but predictably tired Angels lineup to one run over seven-plus frames.
"Everything was working," De La Rosa said. "I kept them off balance."
Getting the call for the Red Sox on Tuesday will be righty Joe Kelly, who will be making his second start since being acquired from St. Louis. Kelly faced his former team in his first start, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 2-1 win, despite giving up a run and three hits in seven innings. He also walked four batters.
"There were some emotions there," said Kelly. "After the first inning, basically after the first pitch, I realized it was just pitching again. It's like pitching in the playoffs -- you get really excited and anxious to pitch in the playoffs. Once you let go of that ball, it's just pitching again from there. It was definitely fun."
Kelly has faced the Reds three times (one start) and is 2-0 against them with a 1.64 ERA.