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Latos pitched a two-hitter to win his career-best seventh straight decision, beating San Francisco for the second time in as many outings this season to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-1 victory Saturday.
"I think it has to do with me just being comfortable here," said Latos, who lowered his ERA in San Francisco's waterfront ballpark to 1.67. "I pitched here for three years. Just familiar with the ballpark. Who knows? I pitched a pretty good game today. I kept the ball down and got quick outs."
Latos (7-2) struck out seven and didn't walk a batter for the fourth time in his 115-pitch gem and second straight complete game. The hard-throwing right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings against the Giants on April 24. He threw the first back-to-back complete games for the Reds since Aaron Harang in September 2006.
Just when San Francisco's pitching staff looked unstoppable, the Reds have thrown two dazzlers of their own. Latos followed Mike Leake's nine-hitter Friday for the Reds' first consecutive complete games since Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey on May 11-12, 2010, against the Pirates.
"Pitching's the key, and the last couple days we've been getting some great pitching," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's especially good going against a hot club."
"It's been rough the last two nights," Blanco said.
Home run king Barry Bonds was among the sellout crowd of 42,135 a day ahead of the club's 10-year reunion celebration for the 2002 World Series runners-up. The slugger high-fived fans as he made his exit in the top of the ninth.
Barry Zito (6-6) labored through six innings, his six walks one shy of his season high. He allowed five hits and one run and struck out three while throwing 99 pitches, 54 for strikes. He missed a chance to win consecutive starts for just the second time this year.
"We ran into another well-pitched game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't do too much."
Zito was coming off seven scoreless innings in last Monday's shutout against the Dodgers that began a franchise-best string of four in a row until Matt Cain lost 5-1 Friday night, in his first home outing since his June 13 perfect game.
Zito allowed Brandon Phillips' one-out single in the fourth, then retired Jay Bruce on a groundout before surrendering three straight walks. Ryan Hanigan's bases-loaded free pass brought home Phillips as the Reds took a 1-0 lead. Zito received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti, then struck out Latos.
When Zito walked leadoff man Zack Cozart -- who had the first-pitch homer Friday to start the game off Cain -- to begin the fifth, and a reliever began warming up for a second time. Drew Stubbs then walked and out came Righetti again.
Votto's grounder was the second out and he injured himself running to first. After an intentional walk to Phillips loaded the bases, Bruce lined into a double play on which shortstop Crawford easily threw out Stubbs at second after he wandered way off the bag.
Cairo replaced Votto in the bottom of the fifth. The Reds said Votto was removed as a precaution as he nurses inflammation in his left knee.
Cincinnati is 7-1 in Latos' past eight starts.
San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval was slow getting up after making a diving belly flop catch on Stubbs' seventh-inning bunt. Manager Bruce Bochy and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner came out to check on him and Sandoval stayed in the game.
Brad Penny made his season debut for the Giants in the seventh. Signed to a minor league deal May 18, he was called up Friday.
|The Reds' Mat Latos throws a two-hitter to beat the Giants and win his career-best seventh straight decision. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Zack Cozart, SS||4||1||2||0||1||0||0||.249|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.231|
|Joey Votto, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.350|
|Miguel Cairo, 1B||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||.140|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.288|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||5||.257|
|Ryan Ludwick, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.226|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.260|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||3||0||1||1||1||1||2||.286|
|Mat Latos, P||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.111|
|2B - Zack Cozart (19, Kontos)|
|RBI - Miguel Cairo (4), Ryan Hanigan (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Hanigan (2)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Mat Latos (W,7-2)||9||2||1||1||0||7||0||4.42|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mat Latos 115-82|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mat Latos 11-9|
|Batters Faced - Mat Latos 29|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Gregor Blanco, RF||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.254|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.266|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.350|
|Buster Posey, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.296|
|Angel Pagan, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.293|
|Pablo Sandoval, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.307|
|Hector Sanchez, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Brandon Crawford, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Barry Zito, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.077|
|a- Nate Schierholtz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|George Kontos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javier Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Penny, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brandon Belt, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.257|
|a-flied out for Zito in the 6th|
|b-tripled for Penny in the 9th|
|2B - Brandon Crawford (16, Latos)|
|3B - Brandon Belt (3, Latos)|
|RBI - Gregor Blanco (19)|
|Team LOB - 1|
|DP - Sandoval-Theriot-Posey, Crawford-Theriot|
|E - Pablo Sandoval (7, Throwing)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Barry Zito (L,6-6)||6||5||1||1||6||3||0||3.84|
|IBB - B. Phillips by Barry Zito|
|WP - George Kontos (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 99-54, George Kontos 13-8, Javier Lopez 4-3, Brad Penny 23-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 6-7, Brad Penny 3-3|
|Batters Faced - Barry Zito 27, George Kontos 4, Javier Lopez 1, Brad Penny 7|
|Attendance - 42135|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 65|
|Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Bill Miller|